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New Center Will 'Coordinate' Coordinated Care Organizations

One way Oregon hopes to overhaul its health care system is by sharing good ideas.  The state has just opened what it calls a Transformation Center where those ideas will be shared.

Over the last six months, hospitals and doctors’ offices across the state have set up 15 new Coordinated Care Organizations.

There’s a CCO along the Columbia River Gorge; a couple in the Portland area; one in Coos Bay, and so on.
The CCOs are trying to organize so doctors and hospitals get paid for keeping patients healthy, rather than for every test or treatment they provide.

Cathy Kaufmann is the director of the Oregon Health Authority’s Transformation Center.  She says CCOs will try a lot of new ways of doing things.

“We’re there to connect them and we’re there to help bring them the resources that they need, like outside experts to help them move down the road towards transformation,” she said.

If it’s successful, Kaufmann and others hope that the new way of delivering health care will be adopted by private health insurance companies.

“We believe in the coordinated care model. We know it’s a way to achieve the triple aim of better care, lower costs, better outcomes for people. So if it works for the Medicaid population, why keep good ideas from other folks?”

Speaking at the Oregon Health Policy Board Tuesday, OHSU president Joe Robertson welcomed the new center.

“I sort of look at this as the trade association of the CCOs. It’s probably oversimplification, but it’s where everyone can gather and learn,” he said.

The feds have given Oregon $1.9 billion and five years to show that coordinated care organizations can reduce the rate of medical inflation by two percent.

If the state fails, it faces big fines.

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