Multnomah County and health partners sign letter of intent to form a coordinated care organization for residents on the Oregon Health Plan

April 4, 2012

The group of regional health care agencies working to form a coordinated care organization for members of the Oregon Health Plan filed a letter of intent with the Oregon Health Authority on April 2 to be certified as a CCO.

New state laws have mandated the creation of regional coordinated care organizations, or CCOs, to deliver health services to people on the Oregon Health Plan. The CCOs are intended to deliver better care, increase patient satisfaction and reduce costs. These changes are believed to be critical to better care and the future economic health of our state.

At a two-day March retreat, all 14 members of the health partners known as the Tri-County Medicaid Collaborative (now Health Share of Oregon) agreed to continue working together to form a regional CCO. The members are Multnomah County, Adventist Health, CareOregon, Clackamas County, Family Care Health Plans, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Metro Area Community Health Centers, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Nurses Association, Providence Health & Services, Tuality Healthcare, and Washington County.

Under health reform, people who receive care through the Oregon Health Plan access that care through a CCO. There are two CCOs in Multnomah County, Health Share of Oregon and FamilyCare, Inc.

“This has been an incredible effort,” said Legacy President and CEO George Brown, MD, who chairs the Collaborative. “It has been gratifying to see how these organizations, many of them competitors, came together for a community need. I think we all realized that if we didn’t figure this out, the alternatives would be far worse and those most at risk in our region would ultimately pay the price.”

The members agreed to build the CCO using members’ existing strengths. Since most of the skill sets and processes necessary to operate a CCO already exist in the member organizations, it isn’t necessary to start from scratch. Members said this approach also is the most effective way to create a high-quality CCO in the time frame mandated by the state.

 An interim management structure was created at the retreat, and Janet Meyer, Chief Operating Officer at Tuality Healthcare, will be the interim CEO. Jeff Butcher, Health Plan Chief Financial Officer at Providence Health & Services, will be Chief Financial Officer. Legacy Health’s Director of Care Transformation Jon Hersen will take on Chief Operating Officer duties. Chief Medical Officer for the Collaborative will be David Labby, MD, Medical Director at CareOregon. Rosa Klein, Policy Advisor at Multnomah County Health Department, will be Chief Health Strategy Officer.

It is believed that this new organization, when formally created, will be the first of its kind in the country. Its success would make it a model for communities elsewhere who are similarly struggling with state budget cuts and a growing Medicaid population.

The letter of intent will be followed by an application to the Oregon Health Authority, which must approve the formation of CCOs. The application is due April 30.

Health Share of Oregon:

Adventist Health, CareOregon, Clackamas County, Family Care Health Plans, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Metro Area Community Health Centers, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Medical Association, Oregon Nurses Association, Providence Health & Services, Tuality Healthcare and Washington County.