As Oregon grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, CCOs are well positioned to help Oregonians access health care. At its core, the CCO model is designed to keep people out of emergency departments (EDs) and hospitals.

All our member CCOs (Advanced Health, AllCare Health, Cascade Health Alliance, Trillium Community Health Plan, and Umpqua Health Alliance) are working around the clock to assist OHP members and health care providers in any way they can. This includes working with community partners to provide housing, food and other Health-Related Services.

COHO members are actively preparing for a large influx of members due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

COHO has been working with the Oregon Health Authority to provide flexibility during these extraordinary circumstances, including expanding the use of telehealth. Now, providers can use FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Video, and several other platforms for virtual appointments.

As CCOs that serve Oregon proudly, we are looking forward to rising to meet the challenge ahead. We know that the health of our communities is imperative, and we know that all our resources and attention should be fully focused on this crisis.

Our highest priority is meeting our members’ needs. We’ve compiled some resources for those who may need them at this time. We will continue to update this list as we can.

  • What should I do if I lose my job? Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, our unemployment benefits are quickly being expanded to include those that are out of work due to the virus. If you would like to apply for unemployment benefits, you can do so here. If you are still employed, but need sick time, here is a resource to walk you through your rights to sick time.
  • What should I do if I lose my health insurance? If you have been laid off, you may be eligible for Medicaid, a government-funded insurance plan. You can apply for those Oregon Health Plan benefits here.
  • What should I do if I need access to mental health services? If you are enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan, you should have access to a mental health provider, but we recognize that sometimes wait times or lack of providers taking new patients might be a concern. Here are some more resources:

The Crisis Text Line: text TALK to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK

COHO CCOs are open to hearing your thoughts and questions. To share thoughts and concerns, please reach us here.

Click here to read COHO’s testimony, submitted to the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response.

COHO member Umpqua Health Alliance suggested some out-of-the-box tips for staying healthy, both mentally and physically, during the coronavirus pandemic.

By following Governor Kate Brown’s order that all Oregonians practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible, we can help make sure that our vulnerable population is less at risk of contracting the virus, as well as “flatten the curve” of transmission to ensure health care professionals are able to take care of those who are sick. However, it can be difficult to stay inside for extended periods of time without getting restless.

Below are some tips from Umpqua Health Alliance on staying healthy and happy while staying home:

Wash your reusable grocery bags – Many Oregonians use reusable grocery bags rather than disposable ones. To avoid potentially carrying COVID-19 into your home after grocery shopping, thoroughly clean your grocery bags and wipe down your groceries as soon as you get home.

Blanch and freeze your veggies – As you may have experienced, grocery stores are often very crowded and can quickly run out of fresh food. Avoid crowded grocery stores by making the most out of what you have in your fridge. Blanch and freeze your fresh vegetables by briefly boiling them, then cooling them in ice water. This retains their color and flavor for future healthy meals.

For the full list of tips, click here.

The Oregon Health Authority, together with the Oregon Military Department, is assembling the Oregon Medical Station (OMS) beginning Friday, March 20, at the Salem Fairgrounds. The OMS is a temporary mobile facility dedicated for emergency use in situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. The mobile facility will provide an alternate site for 250 patients currently in nursing home care.

The OMS will:

  • Include beds, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment to support 250 patients.
  • Be staffed by members of the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Oregon (SERV-OR) and the Oregon Disaster Medical Team (ODMT).
  • Have staffing for 24/7 operations.
  • Be housed in the Jackson Long building at the Salem Fairgrounds in a state-owned building.
  • Use dedicated supplies that have been stored in Salem at the State and Federal Surplus Property.

For the full article, click here.