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Oregon Turns to Coordinated Care in Medicaid

by Benjamin Domenech on January 4, 2012

Marc Kilmer reports on the latest from Oregon:

In June 2011 the Oregon legislature passed legislation that was signed into law by Democrat Gov. John Kitzhaber to create a statewide system of coordinated care organizations (CCOs) for the state’s Medicaid system. According to the Oregon Health Policy Board, “the goal of the legislation is to create a new model of health care that will improve health. The vision is also aimed at beginning to lower the high cost of care by emphasizing prevention, reducing waste, improving efficiencies and eliminating avoidable differences in quality and outcomes.”

A final plan on how these CCOs will work must be approved by the legislature in February 2012. If approved, it will go into effect in July 2012. Oregon officials estimate the change will save the state $249 million in Fiscal Year 2013.

Although details have yet to be finalized, Oregon health care officials envision coordination of care that would help manage recipients’ health through “collaborative relationships” involving preventive care, chronic disease management, and other more flexible and less fragmented approaches than the current Medicaid system.

Read the rest at The Heartlander.

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