Feds fund Medicaid initiative in Oregon

Oregon Governor Kitzhaber and the Obama Administration have agreed to coordinate care for Medicaid beneficiaries in Oregon, through a new model of care that aims to cut costs in Oregon’s Medicaid program by at least two percentage points within two years while improving health outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has given preliminary approval of a five-year, $1.9 billion demonstration of a Federal-State partnership to transform the way that care is delivered in Oregon’s Medicaid program.

The initial investment of $620 million in the second year of the State’s current biennium will allow Oregon’s new care organizations to coordinate care for Medicaid patients while reducing preventable errors. Oregon estimates that this will achieve $11 billion in savings over the next decade.

Currently, there are 600,000 medicaid patients that would be effected by the coordinated care program. Oregon has also received federal funding for its cooperative health care program, through the Affordable Care Act. The state is also moving forward on a health insurance exchange despite a court challenge of federal health care reform.

“With unprecedented collaboration between local communities, health care providers and our federal partners, Oregon is on the right track to create a system that will both improve care and reduce costs,” said Governor Kitzhaber in a statement.