The state of Oregon wants to reshape the way it provides medical services to low income people in rural parts of the state. And it’s getting a robust response from health care providers. Before a deadline this week, state health administrators received more than 50 proposals to create regional collaborations. The strategy is part of what Oregon’s Governor is calling a health-care transformation.
The governor’s plan, approved by lawmakers, will shift the way Oregon spends its Medicaid money. State officials say they're pleased with the amount of interest from health care providers in forming so-called Coordinated Care Organizations.
Leslie Ford is with Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Services, based in The Dalles. She says her group is hoping to partner with other local providers in 18 rural counties.
"In some areas of the state I think that's going to be really hard," Ford says. "There isn't a tradition of a lot of shared projects and relationships and so forth. And in some areas it comes together fairly easily. So it's really all about local relationships."
The proposals cover every Oregon county —multiple times, in some cases. The Oregon Health Authority says it will award the title of "Coordinated Care Organization" to every applicant that meets its standards. That is, if Oregon receives a federal waiver.
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