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Dec. 6, 2013 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Tina Edlund, acting director

We’re heading in the right direction

"We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right."
~Nelson Mandela

This week in one of my first activities as OHA’s acting director, I was very honored to participate in the CCO summit organized by our Transformation Center. More than 500 people from around the state who are working to truly transform the health care system came together to celebrate the first year of coordinated care organization progress. CCO leadership and staff, community advisory council members, providers, and other key partners reflected on the past year, shared with each other their innovative approaches, and talked about what opportunities and challenges the next year will bring.

The coordinated care model is continuing to be implemented in exciting ways as we head into the CCOs’ second year. One of the best parts of the summit was the way CCO staff and partners came together to share and learn from each other. They are transforming the health care system and ultimately, our communities.

Depending on local needs and opportunities, CCOs are using a variety of strategies. Some are focused on alternative payment models that pay providers for better health outcomes. Others are looking at how social determinants of health influence health outcomes. And every CCO is striving to improve the integration of mental and physical health services and other types of care.

You can read about some of the examples here. ["Medicaid summit showcases reforms" - article archived on the Statesman Journal]

At the summit we shared information from the most recent quarterly report that showed emergency department visits decreasing and primary care increasing. This report shows that CCOs and their providers are headed in the right direction – bringing down costs while focusing on preventive primary care. We are also hitting our targets on cost containment, as required by our agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. While we know we won’t see this kind of progress every quarter, we are starting in a very good place.

This new approach to health care is more important than ever as we stand on the cusp of adding possibly 100,000 new Oregon Health Plan members starting January 1, 2014.

We have come a long way. The first five coordinated care organizations in our state began serving OHP clients in August 2012. Today there are 16 CCOs serving more than 90 percent of OHP members.

We have further to go, but I first want to say thank you for all of the work you do every day to support transformation. I also want everyone at OHA to know that I share Dr. Goldberg’s commitment to keep us moving forward in our important work to improve the health care system for better health, better care and lower costs.

OHA on the web