August 21, 2015 OHA Director's messages on the web
To: All OHA employees
From: Lynne Saxton, Director

Celebrating our partners' innovation

To the OHA team:

Within our agency, we know the value and importance of the coordinated care model to deliver our triple aim of better health, better care and lower costs to people across Oregon. And it’s no surprise that we’re a national leader in health care innovation. It’s especially gratifying when one of our coordinated care organizations (CCOs) is recognized for its excellent work.

Last month the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced that Yamhill CCO (YCCO) is the recipient of a Bridging for Health grant for improving community health through innovations in financing. These grants are for communities that demonstrate innovations in health policy, health care delivery, and particularly financial strategies that rebalance and align investments in health for better outcomes. There was no application; the grantors know Oregon is a leader, and people they spoke with quickly identified YCCO as an outstanding provider.

According to the award letter, YCCO was selected based on "(a) strength, depth and diversity of membership as evidenced by the active engagement of the community's major hospital systems, public health leadership, philanthropic and other important stakeholder groups, (b) current interest in developing and implementing a sustainable financing innovation, and (c) focus on health equity and efforts to improve the health of your community."

YCCO was originally organized as a community stakeholder group, looking at social determinants as well as trying to solve a community problem: how to implement the coordinated care model. Their ideas are edgy, community-based, and they work. Both YCCO and the selection panel are particularly interested in:

  • Service integration: A new health and wellness committee fosters a stronger relationship between the medical community and population health to get upstream on many core issues such as immunization and STDs that will affect Medicaid down the road.
  • Enhancing primary care: YCCO created efficiencies in the primary care system and has the payment system support them. The outcome is better care during patient visits, longer patient visits, and satisfied customers.
  • Non-emergency medical transportation: YCCO is working on Web-based alternative transportation systems to help members get to their medical, therapy, behavioral health appointments. This strategy might involve employment opportunities for Medicaid recipients to help lift them out of poverty.

Innovation and good financial strategies can be the secret sauce to that will make a good provider great. I commend YCCO for pushing beyond everyday limits to improve the health of their community. We will feature other CCO innovations in the coming months.


To your health: Did you know more than 827,000 Oregonians live with doctor-diagnosed arthritis? Some populations are more affected; 36 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives in Oregon deal with arthritis, compared to 27 percent of whites. One of the most effective ways to prevent arthritis and relieve arthritis pain, stiffness and fatigue is very simple: get your heart rate up and keep it up for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For more information on living with arthritis in Oregon, visit OHA’s Arthritis Program.

OHA on the web