Oregon Health Authority Health eNews | Updates from the Oregon Health Policy Board


In this month's edition of Health News from OHA and OHPB:
Five more Coordinated Care Organizations begin serving Oregon Health Plan members
Initiative brings enhanced primary care to Oregon clinics
Metrics and Scoring Committee begins meeting with task of identifying outcome and quality measures for CCOs
Rogue Medicine clinic in Grants Pass focuses on wellness – not illness
In the news

Five more Coordinated Care Organizations begin serving Oregon Health Plan members

Most Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members are being served by a local Coordinated Care Organization (CCO), after five new CCOs became eligible to begin serving OHP clients on Sept. 1.

CCOs are health plans that include all types of providers who have agreed to work together in their local communities to serve Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members. They are designed to simplify the health system and provide clients a single point of contact that helps avoid miscommunication and mistakes, and makes sure patients come first. They have the flexibility to hire community health workers who can help people take responsibility for their own health and manage chronic illnesses to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. CCOs help ensure that all Oregonians – regardless of their race, age, religion, or gender – are treated fairly when receiving health care.

“In Oregon we are showing that it is possible to build a health care system around patients and their providers for better health and reduced costs,” said Governor John Kitzhaber. “These new Coordinated Care Organizations will be leading the way for everyone in our state.”

See the complete list of Coordinated Care Organizations at www.health.oregon.gov.

Initiative brings enhanced primary care to Oregon clinics

Even as hundreds of thousands of Oregon Health Plan members are enrolled in Coordinated Care Organizations designed to bring them better health at lower costs, a new public-private partnership will enhance primary care services at dozens of health care practices around the state. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Oregon has been selected to participate in a four-year Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative that will offer higher reimbursements to improve primary care services for all patients.

The extra support from CMS, commercial insurers and the Oregon Health Authority will help 70 clinics across Oregon offer expanded services like longer and more flexible hours, nutrition or smoking cessation counseling, and better-coordinated care for managing multiple chronic conditions or other complex health needs.

The full news release can be found here. You can also visit our website to read more about patient centered primary care homes.

Metrics and Scoring Committee begins meeting with task of identifying outcome and quality measures for CCOs

The newly-formed nine-member Oregon Metrics and Scoring Committee held its first meeting in August with the task of identifying the outcome and quality measures for Coordinated Care Organizations.

“This committee's work is important to ensuring better health outcomes. These are the metrics that will tell us where we’re going and will allow us to make quick course corrections as needed along the way to improve the health of Oregonians,” Tina Edlund, Oregon Health Authority chief of policy, said after the meeting.

The committee includes three at-large members, three members with expertise in health outcomes and three representatives of Coordinated Care Organizations. The committee was established by Senate Bill 1580, and members serve for two-year terms.

Metrics and quality measures will be used by the Oregon Health Authority to determine whether CCOs are effectively and adequately improving health, making quality care accessible, eliminating health disparities, and controlling costs for the populations that they serve.

For more information on the committee, including meeting materials and schedules, please visit the Metrics and Scoring Committee webpage.

Rogue Medicine clinic in Grants Pass focuses on wellness – not illness

When Richard McClanahan shows his Oregon driver's license to people, he can see the look of disbelief on their faces. “Yep, that's me, really,” he tells them. The photo on McClanahan's ID looks a lot different from how he looks now. He is 40 pounds lighter. He has gone from a 44 inch waist to a 38. And, those XXL t-shirts he used to wear? They are a thing of the past.

McClanahan has been a patient of Heather Kahn, M.D., at her Rogue Medicine clinic in Grants Pass since 2004. About a year ago, he enrolled in its wellness and nutrition program, and the results have helped McClanahan be healthier and happier.

Read the full story here…

In the news

San Francisco Chronicle
Waste in U.S. health care system
A report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine shows more than $750 billion of waste each year in the U.S. health care system, further emphasizing the importance of a coordinated delivery model for Oregon that will offer better and more efficient care.

Street Roots
Oregon's new Medicaid system a beacon for nation
CCOs will aim to provide higher quality care and reduce state Medicaid expenditures by millions of dollars by coordinating and integrating physical, mental, and dental care for 650,000 Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan.

Street Roots
Oregon's great health care experiment: State puts $240 million on the line with coordinated care
“Oregon is poised to show the country that there can be a better system, one that actually encourages health care access, rather than discourages its use.”

Marketplace, NPR
In Oregon, health reform is welcome
Marketplace looks at the changes in health reform in Oregon where CCOs will bring “together doctors, hospitals, mental-health workers, even competing managed-care insurers.”

OHPB's next meeting

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
8:30 a.m. – noon

The Market Square Building
1515 SW 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201

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