April 6, 2012 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director

Changing the rules of the health care game

"There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens." ~ Tommy Lasorda

This week we reached an important milestone in the formation of local Coordinated Care Organizations. Dozens of local entities filed letters with OHA, holding open their options to apply to become a CCO in 2012. We received letters to cover every county in the state with this new model of care for Oregon Health Plan members.

It is exciting to see communities coming together. In the metro area of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, for example, there has been an unprecendented level of collaboration among health care providers, some of whom often compete for business. Similar collaborations are happening in Central Oregon, Lane County and Douglas County, among others.

We are still in the early stages. Although the letters are an important indicator of community support, we will know more about the CCO landscape at the end of this month when the first applications are due. So far, the response has been very encouraging.

The letters of intent can be viewed at cco.health.oregon.gov.

With momentum building toward more-coordinated care and a changing health care delivery system, I also want to make it clear that when CCOs are up and running this August, some things are not changing. Medical benefits will not be changing, nor will any premiums or co-pays. And the prioritized list of services under OHP will remain in effect. What will change is that providers will have new incentives to provide care or supports not currently covered under OHP, such as community health workers or health system navigators.

With CCOs we are, in order to bring better health and care, fixing the things in health care that work against us, without throwing out the fundamentals that are working well.

Today I will be speaking at the Portland City Club with Governor Kitzhaber's senior health policy advisor, Mike Bonetto, about this very thing: changing the rules of the health care game and how, in many ways, health care is like baseball. The game has been rigged against us but with CCOs, we have figured out how to change the rules.

You can read the speech here or catch it on Oregon Public Broadcasting radio at 7 p.m. Friday.

OHA on the web