12 agencies, groups receive Cascade Health Alliance grants in 2019

December 12, 2018

12 agencies, groups receive Cascade Health Alliance grants in 2019

At least 12 local groups, agencies and institutions are receiving grants from Cascade Health Alliance in 2019.

Cascade Health Alliance is a coordinated care organization, or CCO, that serves residents who are on the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) in Klamath County, in addition to Medicare members through ATRIO Health Plans.

The 12 recipients for the upcoming year include Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of Klamath County, Klamath Basin Senior Citizens Center, Klamath Housing Authority, Friends of the Children, Lost River Community Center, Sanford’s Children’s Clinic, Chiloquin Elementary, Chiloquin Visions in Progress, Sage Community School, Pregnancy Hope Center and Skyline District Cross-Country Camps.

Read the full story at the Herald and News

Umpqua Health opens Newton Creek clinic

December 5, 2018

Umpqua Health opens Newton Creek clinic

Umpqua Health has opened their new Newton Creek clinic. The 25,000-square-foot facility currently has nine providers and 29 clinical staff members, with plans for an urgent care clinic and more personnel in the future. The clinic is offering care in pediatrics, primary care and behavioral health.

Kat Cooper, manager of community outreach and communications for Umpqua Health, said it’s a big step for Douglas County in trying to get more providers to come to the area.

“The fact that we have this beautiful new facility to bring providers in kind of cements our commitment to the community. And it’s not just for OHP patients, but it’s for everyone who needs help to access care, and that’s what we’re here for,” she said.

And for those who have had a hard time finding a primary care physician, the doctors will be taking new patients.

Read the whole story at The News-Review

AllCare Health And It’s Community Partners Are Coming Together To Fight Homelessness

November 26, 2018

Five on 5 KOBI

Sam Engel from AllCare Health & Beth Barker-Hidalgo from Oregon Coast Community Action and the Curry Homeless Coalition recently discussed the HOPE Campaign with KOBI-5. The campaign focuses on homelessness locally, the homelessness situation in Curry County and how Oregon Coast Community Action helps the homeless population there find the right type of housing program that would work best for them.

Watch the discussion at KOBI-5.

Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

November 9, 2018

National Public Radio

When public health officials get wind of an outbreak of Hepatitis A or influenza, they spring into action with public awareness campaigns, monitoring and outreach. But should they be acting with equal urgency when it comes to childhood trauma?

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests the answer should be yes. It shows how the effects of childhood trauma persist and are linked to mental illness and addiction in adulthood. And, researchers say, it suggests that it might be more effective to approach trauma as a public health crisis than to limit treatment to individuals.

The study drew on the experiences of participants from the Great Smoky Mountains Study, which followed 1,420 children from mostly rural parts of western North Carolina, over a period of 22 years. They were interviewed annually during their childhood, then four additional times during adulthood.

This study has something other similar studies don’t, says William Copeland, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont who led the research. Instead of relying on recalled reports of childhood trauma, the researchers analyzed data collected while the participants were kids and their experiences were fresh. And the researchers applied rigorous statistical analysis to rule out confounding factors.

Even when the team accounted for other adversities aside from trauma, like low income and family hardships, and adult traumas, the associations between childhood trauma and adult hardships remained clear. The associations remained clear.

The study is “probably the most rigorous test we have to date of the hypothesis that early childhood trauma has these strong, independent effects on adult outcomes,” he says.

For Copeland, the wide-ranging impacts of trauma call for broad-based policy solutions in addition to individual interventions. “It has to be a discussion we have on a public health policy level,” he says.

Nearly 31 percent of the children told researchers they had experienced one traumatic event, like a life-threatening injury, sexual or physical abuse, or witnessing or hearing about a loved one’s traumatic experience. And 22.5 percent of participants had experienced two traumas, while 14.8 percent experienced three or more.

Read the whole story at National Public Radio



Cascade Health Alliance is helping new mothers get the supplies they need.

Cascade Health Alliance and over 30 of it’s community partners recently sponsored a community baby shower help new mothers get the supplies they need and connect families with other medical and support services.


Read more:

The Herald and News

CCOs tell Oregon Health Authority to keep medicaid local

October 4, 2018 –

Portland Business Journal

The boundaries and even operators of the Oregon’s 15 coordinated care organizations could change next year, when the Oregon Health Authority awards new five-year contracts.

The CCOs have provided care to 1 million Oregonians on Medicaid, coordinating their physical, mental and dental needs, since they were created in 2012.

Even if they take on more responsibilities, one major aspect of CCO 1.0 that leaders of the coordinated care organizations want to retain in CCO 2.0 is to remain locally based.

“If there’s a secret sauce to the transformation in 1.0, it was that local control,” said Josh Balloch, vice president of government affairs for AllCare Health, a CCO with 50,000 members in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties. “That’s vital to the long-term success. You can’t export or import health care. It has to be done locally.”

Until OHA receives applications for the next round of contracts, no one knows whether entities based outside of Oregon will apply. Only current CCOs and companies with an existing Oregon footprint can apply, but that could still include out-of-state corporations that currently sell insurance in Oregon, such as United HealthCare or Centene Corp.

The other message several CCO leaders have sent to the state is to allow them the space to meet their members needs as they see fit, without a top-down approach. They hope the next round of five-year contracts, which will be issued next year, won’t be overly prescriptive about how the CCOs spend their dollars.

“We need to thread the needle between clarity of evaluations, with enough flexibility for the work to be impactful for local communities,” said Lindsey Hopper, vice president of Medicaid for PacificSource Community Solutions. “That’s the balance I hope gets struck.”

Each organization has the flexibility to respond to the needs of the local community in different ways, such as partnering with schools or nonprofits on smoking cessation or weight reduction programs.

For example, Intercommunity Health Network, which serves Benton, Lincoln and Linn Counties, uses the “collective impact model,” bringing the community together around a common agenda and measuring results, said CEO Kelley Kaiser. Contracted providers took a pay cut to create a transformation fund, which Intercommunity uses to fund innovative pilot projects.

“We end up being the backbone organization that brings all the organizations together,” Kaiser said. “CCO 1.0 led us to be in that role, and it’s served our communities well. CCO 1.0 said here’s the goal we’re trying to achieve and had the local partners figure out how to get there.”

Each CCO has at least one community advisory council, which can include Oregon Health Plan members.

“Especially as we move into the social determinants of health and connect the pieces of the safety net together, unless you’re locally based, you don’t know where those pieces are,” Balloch said. “I think if you look at other states, they bought into bigger is better and Oregon went in the opposite direction.”

Oregon once had larger players delivering Medicaid services, but many of those entities got out because they weren’t profitable, Balloch said. Then regional groups of providers formed independent practice associations that took on that caseload, later morphing into the CCOs.

One of those groups, the parent company of Trillium Community Health Plan, was scooped up by St. Louis-based Centene, a publicly traded company with $48.3 billion in annual revenue, in 2015. The sale generated a $131 million windfall for Trillium’s owners, while some community members in Lane County raised alarms about the potential loss of local control to a profit-motivated outside corporation.

But Trillium CEO Chris Ellertson said Centene “puts tons of accountability in the local team.”

“My team works closely with local board and delivery systems,” Ellertson said. “I don’t know that I’ve experienced a situation yet where we locally felt we couldn’t do something we wanted to do.”

Cascade Health Alliance working to improve community spaces in Klamath Falls

September 28, 2018

Tayo Akins, CEO of Cascade Health Alliance, and his entire staff were at the at Mills-Kiwanis Park opening event and have been working collaboratively with the Mills Neighborhood Association to create an environment people are proud to live in and feel safe using public spaces. Over the last year, CHA has contributed more than $50,000 to help improve community health outcomes through member engagement and community space improvements.


Read More:

Herald and News

Advanced Health strives to get ahead of the local drug crisis

September 27, 2018

Advanced Health and their community partners are working hard to reduce the amount of overdoses caused by fentanyl. In November, there will be several free public events to raise awareness about drug problems in Southern Oregon with panels hosted by the Department of Corrections, law enforcement, health care providers, and other local partners. Additionally, Advanced Health and The HIV Alliance are working to provide free naloxone and training on how to administer it to stop overdoses.


Read more:

The World

Local Students Build Garden Beds Through Umpqua Health Alliance Grant

September 25, 2018

Roseburg Junior Academy and Freemont Middle School are the first two schools in Douglas County to be approved for free garden beds under the Kitchen Garden Project. Funding to build the garden beds was made possible by a grant from the Umpqua Health Alliance. Nearly a dozen fourth through eighth graders constructed frames for three garden beds, carefully added two layers of soil and planted vegetable seeds. The aim is to get students outside to create, sustain and harvest vegetable gardens to promote healthy eating habits that can improve overall health and reduce the risk from major illnesses due to poor health choices.


Read More:

News-Review: Veggie tales from the schoolyard

OHA OHP Member Survey Shows High Levels of Satisfaction with CCOs

September 11, 2018

OHA conducted a survey among OHP members in late August 2018 to gauge their satisfaction with services, in addition to ways to improve care through CCO 2.0.  Notably, 90 percent of OHP members indicated they were satisfied with the plan and the care they had received.


Read More:

OHA News Release: Oregon Health Plan members satisfied with OHP and coordinated care organizations, support proposals to improve CCOs