Jan. 4, 2013 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Director

OHA in 2013

"And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that never were." ~Rainer Maria Rilke

I hope that everyone had a great holiday season and took time at year's end to pause and reflect on everything that occurred in the months prior: it's an important time to celebrate successes and cheer accomplishments. Each and every person who works at the Oregon Health Authority has reason to be proud. I've talked often about the great effort it took to launch coordinated care organizations and that it truly was an amazing achievement. But that wasn't the only success of the year. From the Oregon State Hospital to the Public Health Division to PEBB, OEBB, OPHP, and in all offices and programs, during the past year I saw people pulling together in new ways to meet the vision of achieving better health, better care and lower health care costs for everyone in our state.

As we say goodbye to 2012, I want to be the first to say, "You ain't seen nothing yet."

In 2013, we will keep moving our agency forward toward improved partnerships and support of the health system transformation. As CCOs are working on a new model of care, we have to be relentless in our pursuit to create a new model for OHA that reflects and supports the changes under way in our state's health care delivery system.

To create that new model, we want to be intentional and innovative in our approach. We want to be aggressive in eliminating unnecessary paperwork and regulation that doesn't support health improvement or positive health system change. We want to be the agency that says "Yes" whenever we can to ensure we are putting clients and health system transformation first.

Using this approach, there are very specific and tangible areas of focus that will help us create the new model.  Most obviously, we will integrate physical and mental health care. We will also make sure we have the ability in-house to support health system quality improvement. We will support the use of metrics for health improvement. And we'll support paying for services in a way that promotes quality over quantity. And in the same way CCOs will be accountable for performance metrics, we will be as well across the agency.

And we have to do it soon. With 15 coordinated care organizations up and running — and the potential of hundreds of thousands of new Oregonians having access to the Oregon Health Plan in 2014 — we have to keep last year's momentum going.

To that end, we have created specific milestones in key areas that will move us forward toward being a more coordinated agency. Earlier this week I was joined by Judy Mohr Peterson, director of Medical Assistance Programs, and Linda Hammond, interim director of Addictions and Mental Health, in an all-staff webinar. I want to thank all the staff who participated and for your great questions.

If you were not able to participate, please take a moment to watch a recording or read the presentation. There you will find more detail and deadlines on the key areas of focus.

This is the first of several two-way communications that will be happening during the coming year at the agency level and within your programs and offices. As always, please don't hesitate to send me your thoughts and ideas.

And of course, Happy New Year!

OHA on the web