OHA Director proposes reorganization

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Issues and actions in Oregon health today

May 1, 2018

Director Allen proposes OHA reorganization

In a message to staff Monday, OHA Director Patrick Allen shared a proposal for a new organizational structure. The goals of the reorganization are to:

  • Consolidate Medicaid: Align Medicaid policy and operations into a single program under the Medicaid director.
  • Consolidate behavioral health: Unite mental health, substance use and gambling services across the agency within a single program, under a new behavioral health director.
  • Strengthen relationships with OHP members and stakeholders: Expand the ombuds program that helps OHP members solve access to care problems and align innovator agents who work with coordinated care organizations under OHA’s chief of staff.

The changes are intended to “improve our business rigor and strengthen transparency and accountability in our agency,” said Director Allen. You can see the proposed organizational charts here.

Director Allen is seeking stakeholder input on the proposal. He presented an overview of the proposed reorganization to the Oregon Health Policy Board at the board’s May 1 meeting. He’ll bring a final proposal for OHPB’s approval in June. The new OHA structure will take effect on July 1.

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Advocates focus on behavioral health during CCO 2.0 public meetings

CCO 2.0 The Dalles

Advocates make suggestions to improve behavioral health services at a public meeting in The Dalles.

In its first round of CCO 2.0 public meetings, the Oregon Health Authority is hearing a lot of ideas about how to improve the delivery of addiction medicine and mental health services.

“You would never tell a cancer patient who is at Stage 3 to come back at Stage 4, yet we do this with people who need addiction and mental health services,” said Debby Jones, who attended the April 21 public meeting in The Dalles. Jones runs a Wasco County substance abuse prevention program.

OHA is hosting the public meetings to gather input on the second phase of coordinated care in Oregon. The first phase started in 2012 when coordinated care organizations signed their first contract with the state to provide health care for nearly 1 million Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan.  

CCOs receive a monthly payment from the state to coordinate physical, behavioral and dental health services for their members. The next contract will start in 2020, and the suggestions gathered at these public meetings will help to inform that contract.  

Attend a CCO 2.0 public meeting

The final session in the spring round of public meetings will be held in Medford Friday, May 11, 10 a.m. to noon at the Rogue Community College / Southern Oregon University Medford Campus Higher Education Center, 101 S. Bartlett.

A second round of public meetings will be held in late June.

Learn more about how you can attend a public meeting, or give your feedback at the CCO 2.0 website.


Governor Brown signs Cleaner Air Oregon bill

Kate Brown FB post Cleaner Air Oregon

On April 21 Governor Kate Brown signed legislation that will establish the Cleaner Air Oregon program. Cleaner Air Oregon will reduce the risks industrial air toxics pose to people in Oregon. It will require industries to report their use of potentially harmful air pollutants, evaluate whether their emissions pose risks to neighbors and regulate companies whose emissions exceed risk action levels.

The next step is to finalize Cleaner Air Oregon rules. A Rules Advisory Committee will meet May 8-9 in Portland to continue reviewing draft rules to launch Cleaner Air Oregon. The committee's role is to provide state regulators and health experts advice on regulations to implement the program.

The committee will discuss updates to the proposed rules, which were released for public comment last fall. New changes to the rules incorporate the new Cleaner Air Oregon legislation, public comment and technical improvements. The rules advisory committee meetings are open to the public. You can find out how to attend or listen online at the Cleaner Air Oregon website.


Report tracks key public health issues

Can Oregon's public health and health care systems work together to achieve shared goals?

A new Oregon Health Authority report sets a baseline for metrics that track the state's progress toward improving population health, and many of those metrics align with coordinated care organization (CCO) incentive metrics in Oregon’s Medicaid coordinated care system.

The 2018 Public Health Accountability Metrics Baseline Report examines key health issues such as improving childhood immunization rates, reducing tobacco use and opioid overdose deaths, and ensuring access to clean drinking water.

Oregon's Public Health Advisory Board, which advises OHA on policy matters related to public health programs, established the measures in June 2017 as a way of tracking progress toward population health goals as part of the modernization of Oregon’s public health system. The metrics also will help identify where changes are needed if goals aren’t being met.

Key findings from the report include:

  • With 89 percent of public water systems meeting health-based standards, the public health system is close to meeting the statewide benchmark of 92 percent.
  • Rates of gonorrhea infections are considerably higher than the statewide benchmark. Oregon’s public health system is using some of the Legislature’s $5 million investment in public health modernization to establish regional systems to control communicable diseases including gonorrhea.
  • For most accountability metrics, health outcomes vary across racial and ethnic groups. Understanding where health disparities exist will allow state and local public health authorities to focus interventions on reducing disparities.

Annual metrics reports will tell the public health system and its partners and stakeholders where Oregon is making progress toward population health goals, and where we need new approaches and additional focus.

The full report is available on the Public Health Accountability Metrics webpage.

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OHA leadership updates

Dolly Matteucci

The Oregon Health Authority has seen some leadership changes in recent weeks. Dolores "Dolly" Matteucci assumed her duties as Superintendent of Oregon State Hospital, and OHA Director Patrick Allen has made two changes to the OHA leadership team. Kristine Kautz is now deputy director and Dawn Jagger is chief of staff.

Before joining the state hospital, Matteucci served for eight years as the executive director of Napa State Hospital in California. She has served in a variety of administrative and managerial positions at Napa and other California facilities. She has worked at all levels of a state hospital facility, beginning her career as a clinical dietician at Napa in 1987.

“I am confident that Dolly Matteucci brings the right mix of compassion and expertise to continue the tremendous success Oregon State Hospital has had transforming itself during the last eight years,” Allen said.

Kris Kautz

Kris Kautz came to OHA from the Oregon Department of Revenue, where she served as deputy director. She is a long-time senior executive in state government, having worked at five state agencies prior to OHA, including the Department of Administrative Services.

“As deputy director, Kris will represent the agency in inter-agency processes, planning, and discussions,” Pat says. “In addition, she will continue to oversee the functions and operations she has been responsible for as chief operating officer. In her short time at OHA, Kris has proven that she has the skills and expertise we need in this role.”

Dawn Jagger had served as interim External Relations Divisions director at OHA since September.

Dawn Jagger

“Dawn's leadership has been integral to our efforts to rebuild trust with legislators and health system partners,” Pat says. “As chief of staff, she’ll continue to foster greater transparency, align work across OHA to advance our health transformation goals, and provide strategic counsel to me and the OHA leadership team. In addition, she will continue to lead the external relations teams.”

Jagger came to OHA from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), where she was senior health policy and communications adviser. She previously worked as a federal policy liaison for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, an enforcement officer in the Insurance Division at DCBS, and was a judicial law clerk for Lane County Circuit Court Judge Karsten H. Rasmussen.