Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Principal Executive Manager Jon McDaid says he is focused on ensuring OHA gathers input directly from community members to inform the development of Medicaid policy. During our 2022 Oregon State of Reform Health Policy Conference, McDaid explained the importance of helping members navigate the healthcare system, supporting them in setting up appointments and answering their questions about their options.
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He said part of this is also helping Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members for whom English isn’t their first language. The state offers interpreter services to help these individuals schedule the services they need. He acknowledged, however, that difficulties can still arise during this process, which OHA makes sure to address for individual members.
“Sometimes our system is not that great at the provider level to ensure that people have an interpreter there at their appointment. Or, sometimes our OHP members don’t know that they have that benefit and how to access that. So I feel like we spend a lot of time currently with our members … to help them better understand and advocate [for themselves] so that they can have services that they can actually access in their preferred language.”