Care Groups Line Up To Receive Oregon Health Dollars

Apr 4, 2012

The state of Oregon is getting a robust response from health care providers to re-shape the way Oregon provides medical services to low income people. Before a deadline this week, state health administrators received more than 50 proposals to create regional collaborations. The strategy is part of Governor John Kitzhaber’s so-called health-care transformation. Salem correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The governor’s plan, approved by lawmakers, will shift the way Oregon spends its Medicaid money. State officials say they're pleased with the amount of interest from health care providers in forming so-called Coordinated Care Organizations. Leslie Ford is with Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Services, based in The Dalles. She says her group is hoping to partner with other local providers in 18 rural counties.

Leslie Ford: "In some areas of the state I think that's going to be really hard. There isn't a tradition of a lot of shared projects and relationships and so forth. And in some areas it comes together fairly easily. So it's really all about local relationships."

The proposals cover every Oregon county—multiple times, in some cases. The Oregon Health Authority says it will award the title of "Coordinated Care Organization" to every applicant that meets its standards. That is, if Oregon receives a federal waiver.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

On the web:

Letters of intent from potential Coordinated Care Organizations: