What is health system transformation?

The system for people who receive care through the Oregon Health Plan or who lack health insurance has gaps, is inefficient and difficult to navigate. The Oregon Legislature has directed communities to create a local, coordinated system to eliminate the gaps, reduce unnecessary hospitalizations and treatments and improve patient and population health.

Outside studies indicate such changes can deliver significant cost savings and better health outcomes.

What does it have to do with me?

Most people will continue to see the provider they do now as the network around that care undergoes improvements.

About 148,000 residents of Multnomah County accessed care through the Oregon Health Plan last year. That system involved more than 30 different health plans and care organizations. Beginning in July, 2012 an enrolled patient will receive medical, behavioral and dental care from a coordinated care organization, in which those providers work together in an integrated network that surrounds the patient.

I like my care, why does it have to change?

Making sure you have choice about your health care is an important part of system transformation. Under transformation, people will see the provider they want to see, which could include the one they have now. For most, the only change will be better coordination between their primary care, behavioral and oral health providers. The new coordinated care organization will build on existing successes that improve health, reduce costs and focus on the right care for you.

Multnomah County’s patient–centered health care home is a good example. At county clinics, an entire team works with the patient to meet that individual’s medical, behavioral and oral health needs. Your team may include non-traditional health workers, such as personal health navigators and community health workers who will join  in helping you receive the right services at the right time. Improvements like these will be decided by the locally governed organization in partnership with local providers, community members and others.

When will any changes take place?

On Feb. 23, 2012,  the Oregon Legislature overwhelmingly approved the criteria that all proposed community care organizations must meet. These new entities will apply to the Oregon Health Authority in April. Approved community care organizations begin enrolling people July 1, 2012. But your care will be there for you as most changes will apply to the network serving you.

How is Multnomah County working with health care providers?

Multnomah County has joined Health Share of Oregon, a new metro-area partnership between counties, hospitals and health plans to explore whether they could form a new local coordinated care entity. Members include Multnomah County, Washington and Clackamas counties, Care Oregon, Providence Health & Services, Legacy Health, Kaiser Permanente, Metro area Community Health Centers, Oregon Health & Science University, FamilyCare Health Plans, Tuality Healthcare and Adventist Health. The Oregon Medical Association and Oregon Nursing Association arel also members. These partners are working with dozens of community stakeholders to explore this option.

How will this affect Multnomah County employees and our partners?

Health system transformation is evolving quickly. Multnomah County is committed to communicating changes to staff and residents as information becomes available. The system we have no longer works as well as it should, but Multnomah County is committed to protecting the health and welfare of our citizens throughout this transition.

Where can I get all the latest information on health system transformation?

Multnomah County will post regular updates here and you can tap the Oregon Health Authority at http://health.oregon.gov/.

Where can I ask questions?

You can submit questions on this site or email questions to Multnomah.Countytransformation@multco.us. We will feature those questions and answers as they become available.