State coordinated care Medicaid model to save $1.5 trillion

Oregon is looking to develop its own accountable care organizations. Gov. John Kitzhaber last month signed a law that will create local "coordinated care organizations" focused on the state's 600,000 Medicaid patients, which awaits federal approval, the Associated Press reported today.

Considered by some to be the future healthcare model, Oregon's new law, unlike the federal law, lacks mandates for uninsured patients or private insurers, according a Healthcare POV article.

Nationwide adoption of Oregon's coordinated care model, according to state officials, would save the federal budget more than $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, the AP noted.

One such coordinated care project in central Oregon that had case managers navigate patients through healthcare system and placed mental health providers in the doctor's office saw emergency department visits drop by 49 percent in six months.

But despite local success, national efforts to cut Medicare spending and improve care quality have largely failed and have not reduced Medicare spending, according to a January report from the Congressional Budget Office.

Moreover, state critics maintain that Oregon's coordinated care organizations will lead to increased utilization and therefore boost healthcare costs, the AP noted.

For more information:
- read the Healthcare POV article
- read the AP article
- check out the bill