5 Things Oregon: Future of CCO model, Plan-provider relations, Regulating cost growth


Emily Boerger


We are less than a week out from our 2021 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference. The conference will feature 16 breakout sessions, 2 keynotes, and over 50 curated speakers who will talk through some of the most pressing and impactful issues facing Oregon’s health care system.

In this edition of 5 Things We’re Watching, we feature a handful of the upcoming sessions that we’re looking forward to hosting. We’d love to have you join us!

Emily Boerger
Managing Editor
State of Reform


1. The future of the CCO model

As Oregon prepares for its next Medicaid waiver, state leaders are looking to advance the program’s focus on health equity and the social determinants of health. At the 2021 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference we’ll bring together a group of thought leaders to talk through the CCO model and what the future holds.

During our “Key questions on the future of the CCO model” panel we’ll hear from Eric Hunter, CEO of CareOregon, and Courtney Johnston, senior director of Medicaid and government relations at Health Net and Trillium Community Health Plan. Also joining the conversation will be Chris DeMars, director of the Transformation Center and interim director of the Delivery Systems Innovation Office at OHA, and Stephanie Jarem, director of the Office of Health Policy at OHA.

2. An update on federal health policy

With a number of challenges before this Congress, from the debt ceiling to infrastructure, health care reform remains a central point of discussion. This is particularly true in the proposed $3.5 trillion package of reforms (maybe now $2T?) and spending.

Next week on the 26th, we’ll hear from three experts about health policy coming out of DC and the implications it might have for Oregon health care. Anna Kaltenboeck, senior health advisor on the US Senate Finance Committee, Kathleen Nolan, regional vice president at Health Management Associates, and Paul Dioguardi, senior vice president at Forbes Tate, will offer their insights.


3. Update on efforts to regulate cost growth

The cost of health care in Oregon is projected to grow faster than Oregonians’ wages and the state economy. Our “Updates on efforts to regulate cost growth” panel will discuss strategies in place – in both the market and policy circles – to try to get our hands around the total cost of care before it becomes an even greater challenge to manage.

This panel of thought leaders will include Jeremy Vandehey, director of the Health Policy & Analytics Division at OHA, Dr. Kevin Ewanchyna, vice chair of the Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Implementation Committee, and Felisa Hagins, political director at SEIU Local 49.

4. Changing nature of plan-provider relations

This relationship between payors and providers remains one of the most central and important elements of our modern US health care system. So, how has the pandemic changed the nature of that relationship?

Our “The changing nature of plan-provider relations” panel will bring together Gillian Hays, vice president of network management at Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Mel Davies, chief financial officer at Oregon Oncology Specialists, Guru Sankar, managing partner at AFC Urgent Care, and Matt Patrick, senior network manager at Aetna.


5. Building trust between health care and community

The more work we do as a health care sector to improve health, the more we realize the importance of connecting the service delivery system to the community that surrounds it. Our “Building trust between health care and community” panel will discuss the interactions between health care and the community, and the lessons learned from work to connect the two.

Joining this panel will be Dr. Autumn Davidson, OB/GYN physician at Kaiser Permanente, Gabriel Parra, chief strategy officer at Samaritan Health Plans, and Kristine Toppe, assistant vice president of state affairs at NCQA. Bring your questions, as well as your insights, to a panel that is particularly interactive and forward-thinking.