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Governor Kitzhaber Signs Landmark Bill to Deliver Better Health at a Lower Cost

Press Release

Location: Salem, OR

Governor Kitzhaber today signed SB 1580, launching Coordinated Care Organizations to better serve Oregon Health Plan members with a focus on improved health. The Governor also directed the Oregon Health Authority to submit a Request for Waiver Amendment to the federal government to start the federal approval process and implement Coordination Care Organizations in Oregon more quickly.

"Just one week after the bill was passed out of the Legislature, we sent the request to federal officials to give us the approval we need to implement a smarter model for providing quality care," said Gov. Kitzhaber. "Under our new delivery system, we will focus our efforts and our dollars on improved health, not just billing codes for medical procedures. Based on conversations we have had with our federal partners so far, we believe they share this vision."

Coordinated Care Organizations will be the means to provide better care through better integration of services, focus on prevention, reduced administrative overhead and better models of patient-centered care.

A third-party analysis found that by implementing Coordinated Care Organizations, Oregon could save a significant portion of projected Medicaid costs in the short and long term. Savings would be more than $1 billion over three years and more than $3.1 billion total fund expenditures ($1.2 billion General Fund) over the next five years.

"Today, we are initiating a new era in Oregon where we will no longer be held financially hostage to an inefficient health care system," said Gov. Kitzhaber. "The dollars we save on health care can be invested in our classrooms, into economic development, and into the future of our state."

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