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Medicaid system sees fewer people hospitalized


Public health — Data promising after first full year of Oregon Health Authority survey

Under Oregon’s new Medicaid system, fewer patients are being hospitalized for chronic conditions.

That’s according to a report by the Oregon Health Authority, which looked at data from the first full year of the state’s new Medicaid program.

The new system combines health care providers into “coordinated care organizations,” or CCOs. They share a budget and work together.

Analysts found from 2011 to 2013, hospital admissions for congestive heart failure fell by 27 percent, obstructive pulmonary disease by 32 percent, and adult asthma by 18 percent.

But the report wasn’t all positive.

“We saw mixed results on patients’ perception of access to care, and this will be an important area for us to watch and work with the CCOs moving forward, given the expansion of the Oregon Health Plan population,” said Lori Coyner, the Oregon Health Authority’s director of health analytics.

In one-third of the state’s CCOs, getting health care was more difficult than it was under the old system.

OHA officials say they hope to analyze the data further to see how to improve access and ensure the 15 CCOs across the state share best practices.