Tag Archives: Medicaid

Oregon’s new Medicaid system a beacon for nation

Street Roots editorial

Health care costs are sucking the life out of Americans.

It’s true. The United States spends more than any other country on health care: More than $2 trillion each year. That’s 17 percent of our GDP goes into health care costs, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and it’s on the rise.
Health care costs are rising faster than our earnings. In fact, a U.S. Department of Labor study shows that in the past decade, premiums for employment-based private insurance rose 114 percent. Small and mid-sized businesses are looking at double-digit increases in their coverage costs, which cut into earnings and employment opportunities. The cost has expanded far beyond access for many Americans who are now going without insurance, or preventative care — and without jobs. The Oregon Health Authority estimates 16 percent of the state’s population is uninsured. Continue reading

Oregon’s great health care experiment: State puts $240 million on the line with coordinated care

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

Starting in September, the Portland metropolitan area’s largest private and public health care providers will forge a new way of delivering health care to some of the neediest and most vulnerable patients in the state, and they’ll do it in a way that seems impossible: by working together.

The organization the providers have created is called the Tri-County Medicaid Collaborative. It is one of dozens of coordinated care organizations, or CCOs, forming throughout Oregon to change how patients on the state’s Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan, receive health care.

Coordinated care organizations form the backbone of ambitious changes to the Oregon Health Plan pushed by Governor John Kitzhaber and bipartisan legislation the Oregon Legislature passed during the 2011 and 2012 sessions—an effort to not only provide higher quality care, but also to drastically reduce the state’s Medicaid expenditures by millions of dollars.

The Collaborative, like the rest of the state’s CCOs, does not have time to dally. CCOs are expected to save the state $239 million dollars in 2013 alone; if those savings are not made, it could be catastrophic for the state’s budget. Continue reading