5 Things Oregon: CCO 2.0 awards, Convening Panel, Provider burnout

A huge thank you to the inimitable Emily Boerger for holding down this newsletter while I was on vacation with my family.

We spent a few weeks in Bosnia, Croatia, and Montenegro. The siege of Sarajevo remains a story everyone should know. The massacre at Srebenica under the watchful eye of UN troops hasn’t been forgotten there. And the nationalist rhetoric which led to the war is probably worth reflecting upon.


DJ 5 Things Signature

With help from Emily Boerger

1. CCO awards and reactions

Last week, OHA announced its intent to award the 2020-2024 coordinated care contracts to 15 organizations. The new CCO 2.0 contracts will total over $6 billion for the 2020 contract year, serving nearly 1 million Oregon Health Plan members.

We reached out to a few stakeholders for their take on the awards. From Tom Holt: “Bottom line, everyone is being told to up their games, and no one should assume their territories will be protected by OHA from the hard business realities of sustainably operating Medicaid programs. It all adds up to an exciting opportunity to build on the original vision of CCOs and take it to the next level.”


2. Getting the band back together

Next month, our Convening Panel will gather to sort through the various topics, ideas and speakers to feature at our 2019 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference. So, if you have suggestions for content at this year’s conference, now’s a good time to let us know. We’ll get your input into the mix.

This year’s event is a little later in the calendar – November 12th – but you can put a hold on your calendar now. Early Bird pricing for registration is still open through August. So, if you know you want to be with about 450 of your closest friends in Oregon health care, you can save a few bucks and get signed up now!


3. Dem candidates all in on health care

Sam Baker at Axios says “Health care may be the most defining substantive policy disagreement among the 2020 field.” This week saw a flurry of new health care proposals from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Joe Biden made headlines when he released a health plan that builds on the ACA and preserves key portions of it. Sen. Bernie Sanders was quick to criticize the plan ahead of his speech on Medicare for All on Wednesday.

Also this week, Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a drug pricing plan and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act to protect home care workers, among others. Sen. Cory Booker introduced a long-term care plan and Gov. Jay Inslee announced his “Putting Families First” plan which includes plans for long-term care, universal coverage, and paid family leave.

4.  Progress on the quadruple aim

The OHA released a study that showed provider burnout declined as they implemented a cross-discipline approach to the patient-centered medical home known by the acronym EQBI. The lesson is that as doctors become team captains of a team-based approach to care, rather than try to be the hub around which all care orbits, providers experience less burnout.

This is important news. It means that changing the way physicians practice, within a financing and care model that supports the change, can reduce pressure on caregivers. Some docs have long feared the opposite to be true. But, this also requires a change in how caregivers are trained, something higher ed has been slow to fully embrace.


5. Wyden & Merkley on health care reform

U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden continue to push forward on health reform, if in a less headline-grabbing way. The senators are both involved in legislation that addresses minimum health and safety standards for children at the border, have urged the FDA to take action to curb teen tobacco use, and recently wrote a letter on proper roll-out of the VA MISSION Act.

In reaction to the ACA lawsuit, Merkley joined a group of senators calling for a new resolutionsupporting a “health care bill of rights,” and he recently introduced a bill to end price gouging on prescription drugs. Wyden, as Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance, has been closely involved in health reform related to price transparency and health care costs.