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CareOregon seeks to stop bill to remove local control of CCOs

Rose Englert, Senior Public Policy Manager
Rose Englert
Senior Public Policy Manager

A bill now being considered by the Oregon Legislature could undermine local control of Coordinated Care Organizations. CareOregon, as well as many other health organizations, think the measure would harm Medicaid members served by CCOs around the state. Therefore, we are opposing House Bill 3309. As employees or friends of CareOregon, you should know why we’re taking that position.

Rose was on the KOPB radio program, Think Out Loud, on June 13 to talk about HB3309A.

The bill seeks to address a dispute arising between members of the CCO in Marion and Polk counties, called Willamette Valley Community Health. Instead of resolving the dispute locally through mediation, the bill would have the Oregon Health Authority director to remove a board member by a two-thirds vote of the members. In this case, the board member representing Salem Health would be at risk of being voted off. If that happens, Salem Health would immediately have its Medicaid reimbursement rate dropped by more than 40 percent.

CareOregon is not involved with that CCO, but we are concerned that this provision eventually would apply to all Oregon CCOs.

Says Ed Blackburn, executive director of Central City Concern: “As one of the smallest providers serving the highest concentration of marginalized customers on the board of the state’s largest coordinated care organization, Health Share of Oregon, I oppose HB 3309. CCC serves and represents disenfranchised populations, and one important role for us in Health Share of Oregon is to advocate for the needs of these populations. I am concerned that HB 3309 would make it possible for providers like us to be removed from coordinated care organizations if our advocacy is seen as a problem.”

Please go to these links for news articles about HB 3309.

http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2013/06/lawmakers_may_enter_marion_cou.html

http://www.thelundreport.org/resource/legislators_pinpoint_salem_health_in_bad_actor_bill

For questions or concerns about this or other legislative issues, please contact Rose Englert, senior public policy manager.