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Feds approve 5-year extension on state's Medicaid program for vulnerable Oregonians
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced the State of Oregon has secured federal approval to advance its innovative model of care through the state's Medicaid program, which serves 1 million Oregonians, for another five years.

Securing the federal waiver was a priority for Governor Brown. She and her administration began working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last year on Oregon's waiver renewal application, which was set to expire in June 2017.

“Today is an exciting day for the 1 million Oregonians who will continue to receive the quality care they have come to know and rely on,” Governor Brown said. “Oregon has continually worked to transform health care for more than two decades because good health is foundational to our well-being. Good health can help students reach their goals, allow their parents to work, and even bring families closer together. I will continue working until every Oregonian has access to high-quality, affordable health care.”

The Oregon Health Plan is the largest health plan in the state. It provides integrated health care for 1 in 4 Oregonians who are struggling to make ends meet. In some rural counties, as many as 40 percent of people rely on the Oregon Health Plan.

Oregon operates under a waiver, granted by the federal government, to modify the federal Medicaid program into a state-specific, community-based model. The Oregon Health Plan's aim is to keep people healthy by focusing on patients and their needs and preventative care. Oregon's model has improved quality and health outcomes and avoided billions of dollars in state and federal health care costs. The federal waiver's five-year extension to June 2022 allows Oregon to build upon its coordinated care model.

In five years, Oregon has made progress in its delivery of health care.

• Lower costs: Federal and State government saved $1.4 billion in Medicaid costs just since 2012 and has avoided billions more since the inception of the Oregon Health Plan over two decades ago. Oregon's health reforms are projected to save a total of $10.5 billion between 2012 and 2022 by holding down cost growth to not more than 3.4 percent per member per year.
• Better outcomes and care: Hospital readmissions have been cut by one-third. Substance misuse assessment, developmental screening, and prenatal care have all increased.
• Providing care at the right time and place: Avoidable emergency department use decreased by nearly 50 percent over five years.

Reporters are invited to a conference call at 11 a.m. to discuss this announcement, and should RSVP to The call will include:

Jeremy Vandehey, Health Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Kate Brown
Lori Coyner, State Medicaid Director, Oregon Health Authority
Dr. George Brown, President and CEO, Legacy Health
Dr. Kristen Dillon, Director, Columbia Gorge Coordinated Care Organization
Kelleni Camacho, Oregon Health Plan member, Jackson Care Connect Coordinated Care Organization

Read more information about Oregon's waiver, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' waiver approval letter and the waiver's special terms and conditions.


Chris Pair
Bryan Hockaday
Melissa Navas