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Coordinated Care Organization Summit

July 26, 2012Six days before the first Coordinated Care Organizations began serving Oregon Health Plan clients, Governor John Kitzhaber held a summit bringing together Coordinated Care Organization leadership, advocates and stakeholders. Some 200 people from around the state gathered in Portland to share information about their plans to build a truly transformed health care system and to celebrate the fact that Oregon is moving quickly toward that transformation.

"I am so proud," Governor Kitzhaber told attendees. "This is a historic accomplishment for everyone involved. All of you here have worked incredibly hard to get us to this day."

In addition to Governor Kitzhaber, speakers included keynote presenter Don Berwick, M.D., former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Bruce Goldberg, M.D., Oregon Health Authority (OHA) director; Tina Edlund, OHA Chief of Policy; and Chris Palmedo, Northwest Health Foundation director of Public Affairs.

Governor Kitzhaber called the people attending, as well as the state's legislators and other Oregonians "pioneers" because of the work that has been done to create a better health care delivery system even in the face of budget shortfalls.

"Oregonians saw opportunity in the fiscal crisis. The health care system was not sustainable. The costs were crushing individuals, business and families," he said.

The Oregon Legislature in a bipartisan vote directed the state to create Coordinated Care Organizations as a way to provide better care, for better health at lower costs. The key to CCOs will be the ability to coordinate mental and physical health care and focus on prevention. CCOs will also provide more support to patients with chronic conditions.

Berwick, who spoke after the governor, praised Oregon's vision and plan to provide patients with better, coordinated care.

He stressed that there needs to be an emphasis on chronic care; transparency among CCOs, clients and the public; complete electronic record use; and patient-centered care — all key elements of the new CCOs.

"Put patients first, protect the disadvantaged... act locally," Berwick suggested as ways to be successful in transforming health care delivery and improving patient care. "The goals are clear: better health, better care and lower costs."

Presentations from the summit