Bill would allow coordinated care organizations to boot uncooperative board members

Oregon lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow coordinated care organizations to remove board members if they refuse to cooperate with healthcare transformation efforts.

House Bill 3309 calls for CCOs to petition the Oregon Health Authority to remove a board member by a two-thirds vote. Furthermore, the healthcare provider represented by the ousted member would have its payments cut for serving patients in the CCO and would not be allowed to contract a CCO for five years.

The proposed legislation comes in the wake of an ongoing dispute resulting in a lawsuit between Salem Health, parent company of Salem Hospital, and Willamette Valley Community Health--the CCO in Salem, Ore.--that claims the CCO backed out of an existing contract regarding reimbursement rates the hospital would receive for treating Medicaid patients, Statesman Journal reports. Salem Health's chairman testified against the bill and representatives of Oregon's major healthcare organizations backed him up, according to the article.

To resolve the conflict, Salem Hospital recently offered to enter mediation with Williamette Valley Community Health, according to the Tampa Tribune. But the offer may create new problems as both entities disagree over what should be on the table at mediation, the Tampa Tribune reported. So far no mediation session has been scheduled.

Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem, told the Tribune he plans to keep pushing the legislation unless the lawsuit is dropped. He expressed concern that the lawsuit opens the door for healthcare providers in Oregon to avoid changing their practices to align with the new payment models envisioned in the Medicaid overhaul.

To learn more:
- read House Bill 3309
- see the Statesman Journal article
- check out the Tampa Tribune report