SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Health Plan members are making fewer visits to the emergency room and more visits to primary care providers, according to state data released Wednesday.
Per-person spending growth fell by 1 percentage point.
The numbers suggest Oregon’s year-old coordinated care organizations (CCOs) may be having some success at improving preventive care while lowering long-term costs for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid.
In exchange for nearly $2 billion from the federal government, Oregon promised that coordinated care organizations would reduce the growth in Medicaid spending without skimping on care.
Gov. John Kitzhaber has long argued that spending more on preventive care, properly managing chronic conditions and moving away from paying doctors for each service they perform could avoid expensive hospital stays and save money in the long run.
He’s trying to convince other states to adopt similar reforms, and the numbers, if they hold, could help him make his case.