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With Affordable Care Act, Oregon Clinics Deal With Influx Of Patients

OPB | Jan. 13, 2014 6 a.m. | Updated: Jan. 13, 2014 11:15 a.m. | Portland

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Despite problems with Oregon’s health exchange website, close to 170,000 more Oregonians now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act.

The Richmond Family Medical Clinic in Southeast Portland currently treats about 10,000 patients. But as more and more Oregonians get health insurance, that’s expected to swell to about 13,000.

Acting medical director, Christina Milano says they’re taking several steps to deal with the expansion, including hiring three more staff. “There’s been an extraordinary effort to transform the mechanism by which we’re delivering care, so that it’s not all face-to-face,” she said.

So, dealing with someone’s medical questions over e-mail or the phone instead she says, saves time, money and creates capacity.

Governor John Kitzhaber is scheduled to meet with the state’s Coordinated Care Organizations soon to talk about the issue.

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