Friday, July 1, 2011

Oregon Approves Sweeping Reform of Mental Health Services

Oregon state lawmakers approved legislation this week that will begin a sweeping transformation of general health and mental health services in the state, including creation of regional “coordinating care organizations (CCOs)” responsible for organizing the delivery of all health services.

The bill aims to consolidate the managed care plans that administer the Oregon Health Plan into the regional CCOs, which lawmakers expect will better manage chronic conditions and preventive care. CCOs are the state's  term for what have elsewhere been called accountable care organizations (ACOs)—coalitions of hospitals, health systems, physicians, and other health care providers seen as a new model for delivering coordinated, cost-effective care. As with ACOs, Oregon's CCOs would be charged with creating savings through coordination of care, and participating provider panels would share in those savings.

The Oregon plan also includes a major emphasis on clinical integration of mental health and primary care and implementation of primary-care homes. Read more about Oregon’s reform of its health delivery system in Psychiatric News at


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