What we heard about CCOs

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Issues and actions in Oregon health today

July 27, 2018

What we heard from you about CCO 2.0

OHA Director Pat Allen and Director of Health Policy and Analytics Jeremy Vandehey recently put in more than 2,000 miles of windshield time as they traveled the state speaking with more than 500 Oregonians about the future of the Oregon Health Plan. From Astoria to Ontario, Hood River to Klamath Falls, they asked Oregonians for input on five “big ideas” to improve our state’s innovative coordinated care system:

  1. Improve behavioral health: Give OHP members immediate access to mental health and substance use treatment without having to navigate the system on their own.
  2. Address social factors that affect health and health disparities: Improve housing, nutrition and transportation for OHP members so they can stay healthier.
  3. Reduce health care costs: Keep health care inflation in line with growth in the cost of living by rewarding CCOs for delivering care more efficiently and working with our partners to control drug costs.
  4. Pay for better health: Pay more health care providers for improving patient health and lowering costs, not for the volume of visits they provide.
  5. Improve transparency and accountability: Ensure CCOs are more accountable to members and their communities.

We heard clearly that these are the right priorities for our state. We also heard that CCOs can’t do this work alone – schools, local non-profits and public health departments want to play a bigger role in health transformation and help find solutions to the social factors that can undermine good health for OHP members. The core of Oregon’s bi-partisan health reform success is that CCOs have local roots and connections. That was evidenced across our 10-city tour as we heard people talk about efforts CCOs have made to support programs that tackle local problems, support their community advisory councils, and partner with local organizations to develop effective community health improvement plans.

Community members also emphasized the need for a continued focus on integrating oral health and for more providers in rural communities so people have greater access to care. Providers told us they’re interested in pay-for-health innovations, but they’re cautious about the pace of those changes. The OHA takeaways from the CCO 2.0 summer community meetings were presented to the Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB) at the July meeting. Over the next several weeks, OHA will also participate in listening sessions with culturally specific community organizations and begin a phone survey to a representative sample of OHP members.

cco 2.0 infographic

In Case You Missed It

Director Allen recently met with the editorial board of the Oregonian about CCO 2.0.  

Important Upcoming Dates

OHPB and CCOs meeting: July 30, 10 a.m. to noon, Portland State Office Building, Room 1B, 800 NE Oregon St, Portland

OHPB August meeting: August 7, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., OHSU Center for Health and Healing, Portland

OHPB September meeting: September 11, 8:30 a.m. to noon, OHSU Center for Health and Healing, Portland

OHPB October meeting: October 10, 8:30 a.m. to noon, OHSU Center for Health and Healing, Portland


OHA recruiting for executive leadership positions

The Oregon Health Authority is looking for visionary health care leaders who can carry on our agency’s progress in health system transformation. The positions under recruitment are chief financial officer, behavioral health director, and PEBB/OEBB director.

Oregon is at an important milestone of its health system transformation journey. Oregon’s Medicaid reforms and the coordinated care model have saved taxpayers an estimated $2.2 billion since 2012. Oregon has also improved health quality and outcomes, including effective contraceptive use, follow-up after hospitalization for mental illness, and dental sealants for kids.

We also know there are many opportunities for improvement, and Governor Kate Brown has tasked OHA with focused improvements in the next phase of our transformation journey – in paying for better outcomes, influencing factors outside of the clinical setting that impact Oregonians’ health, such as housing, and in behavioral health, which includes mental health and addiction recovery. We understand the importance of focusing efforts on reducing addiction and increasing addiction recovery rates, and we are looking for a dedicated change agent to transform our behavioral health system into one that improves outcomes for all Oregonians suffering from mental health issues or the disease of addiction.

These new leaders will be critical drivers of OHA’s next push for better outcomes, better care, and sustainable costs.

Please see the links below for the recruitment details:

Chief Financial Officer

Behavioral Health Director

PEBB/OEBB Director


New rules ensure drinking water systems test for cyanotoxins

Temporary rules filed in late June and effective July 1 require drinking water suppliers that meet certain criteria, such as drawing from or purchasing surface water sources where there has been harmful algal blooms, to start testing their water for toxins from cyanobacteria responsible for these blooms.

The rules were developed by OHA Drinking Water Services, with input from drinking water systems.

They also require Oregon water suppliers to issue “do-not-drink” advisories if routine and confirmation water samples test above any health advisory level, including those for either vulnerable or general populations.

The rules apply to two cyanotoxins for which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health advisory levels. They affect between 150 and 200 water suppliers with surface water sources and water systems that purchase water from these suppliers.

The rules will remain in place through Dec. 27. In the meantime OHA will develop permanent cyanotoxin testing rules through a public process this fall.

See the rules at on the OHA Drinking Water Safety webpage.

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Internal review finds OMMP must improve reporting, tracking, inspections

OHA is “taking steps to maintain the integrity of Oregon's Medical Marijuana Program and make sure medical products reach the patients who need them,” according to OHA Director Patrick Allen. This after an internal review of the OMMP uncovered administrative shortcomings that let growers, dispensaries and laboratories operate without effective oversight.

The review also highlighted statutory restrictions that have limited OMMP's ability to answer information requests from local law enforcement officials, even as the program protects patient confidentiality. Together, the issues increased the risk for medical marijuana to be diverted from patients, who rely on cannabis to treat medical conditions, into the black market.

Allen requested the study in response to changing demands on OMMP in the wake of 2014’s voter approval of legalized recreational marijuana sales.

In response to the findings, the program is requiring dispensaries, processors and certain growers to use the OLCC’s Cannabis Tracking System (CTS). It’s also requiring patients to provide proof of address when processing applications, to help validate grow site locations. In addition, OMMP will take enforcement action against participants who don't comply with reporting requirements, whether reporting in CTS or in OMMP's monthly reporting system.

Finally, a viable destruction protocol has been finalized and is now in use. See the report at on the OMMP website.