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Oregon Releases Latest Health Transformation Numbers

OPB | Feb. 4, 2014 1 p.m. | Updated: March 27, 2014 11:29 a.m. | Portland

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The Oregon Health Authority has released its latest results on efforts to transform the state’s health system. It shows an apparently successful drive to catch developmental problems in young children.

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Lori Coyner of the Oregon Health Authority said screening for childhood developmental problems is important.

Addressing a speech impediment or behavioral issue early means a child can be ready to learn when he or she starts kindergarten, she said. “This is exciting because it goes to the heart of the Coordinated Care model, where we’re looking at long-term increases in health for the population and not just short-term fixes.”

While the state is having success screening young children, its efforts to screen for adult problems like drug or alcohol abuse are not showing similar improvement.

The report did find emergency room visits dropped 9 percent while primary care visits increased 18 percent.  That suggests people are going to their doctors for care instead of the ER, saving the system money.

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