Oregon’s coordinated care organizations appear to be reducing health disparities, according to a new study from Oregon Health and Science University.

Before Oregon had coordinated care organizations, the average life expectancy of a black person was about two years shorter than that of a white person. Also 35 percent of women of color had no regular provider, compared to 18 percent of white women.

But the new study shows early signs that some of those gaps are being shrunk by the CCOs, according to lead researcher Dr. John McConnell.

“There’s a lot of data that the cost of health disparities is quite large and that reducing health disparities is one way of reducing the overall cost of care,” he said.

The CCOs have worked to meet the language and cultural needs of patients, and to boost diversity within their workforces.

The study is in the latest edition of the journal Health Affairs.