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Press Release: June 30, 2011

Landmark health care legislation to offer better care, reduced cost


(SALEM, Ore.) —  Landmark health care legislation enacted today will improve the health of Oregonians, improve the quality of care and reduce cost. House bill 3650, a centerpiece of Governor Kitzhaber’s health care transformation agenda, will begin to shift the focus and financial incentives of Oregon's health care system from after-the fact acute care to prevention, wellness and community-based management of chronic conditions.

Governor Kitzhaber plans to sign the bill at a ceremony in Portland tomorrow, July 1.

“The legislature’s action today is critical to ensuring that Oregonians get better health care at a lower cost, “said Governor Kitzhaber. “The strong bipartisan support for this landmark legislation demonstrates how effective we can be addressing the real issues facing Oregon when Democrats and Republicans come together.”
 
House bill 3650 sets the stage for the creation of community-based Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO) that will focus on prevention and patient outcomes by integrating physical health, mental health, and oral health. CCOs will be required to manage costs within a global budget. Over the next six months, workgroups will be putting together a plan for CCOs for the February legislature. 
 
Earlier this month the legislature passed Senate Bill 99, establishing the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corporation to develop a plan for Oregon's exchange. Through the Exchange, individuals and small business will have access to quality, affordable health care through a central marketplace. It will put the power into the hands of consumers and business owners by creating a local exchange that offers more choice, competition, value and transparency. 

Nominations are now open for the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Board of Directors and for four work groups established to provide input on the plans for Coordinated Care Organizations. To learn how to apply, go to: www.health.oregon.gov
 
Deadline for nominations is July 15, 2011.

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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