One of the two new Coordinated Care Organizations in Portland, announced Tuesday that it plans to increase the pay of its primary care doctors by 50 percent.
The FamilyCare CCO says the change will save money. The idea is that their doctors will be able to spend more time with their patients -- so those patients get better quicker and don't circle in-and-out of the office, or end up in the much more expensive ER.
Dr. Rob Richardson contracts with FamilyCare. He says conditions like heart disease and diabetes are difficult to deal with and patients need lots of advice.
He explained, "If we can prevent diabetes, or we can control diabetes, then we won't have the in-patient stays and the surgeries and the complications from diabetes."
FamilyCare CEO, Jeff Heaterington, says the CCO currently pays about $50 for the average Medicaid visit. That will increase to about $75. But he says, savings are expected to more than pay for the increase.