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Board unhappy with EOCCO progress
by Randy Parks
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, Susan Doverspike was appointed to fill the vacancy on the Harney County Health District Board of Directors.
Board member Ann Vloedman administered the oath of office, and Doverspike took her seat among the other members. Doverspike thanked the board for the opportunity to serve and noted that it was a chance for her to contribute back to the community.
The open seat on the board was created by the resignation of Bob Otley at the January meeting.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Bishop reported that he and other staff members had met with representatives of ODS Community Health regarding the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization (EOCCO), and there are still a number of issues to be resolved before a contract is signed.
In May 2012, the federal government announced it would give Oregon $1.9 billion over five years for healthcare reform in the state.
The main aspect of the reforms are the CCOs, which now number 15 around the state. The CCOs are charged with building a network of healthcare providers who have agreed to work together in their local communities for people who receive healthcare coverage under the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid).
The CCOs are also expected to show a 2-percent reduction in the expected increased cost of health care.
The EOCCO is comprised of Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc. (GOBHI) and ODS Community Health Inc. (ODS), as well as hospitals and healthcare providers in 12 Oregon counties.
Bishop said he’s frustrated by ODS’ lack of organization and their failure to produce a business plan. “We submitted a list of questions to them about a year ago and still haven’t gotten any answers,” Bishop said.
Bishop stated that Harney County providers have taken steps to reduce costs, but the savings have gone to ODS.
Other concerns that have not been addressed by the EOCCO include referral patterns, preventive care and coordination at the local level.
Board member Dan Brown commented that he couldn’t see how the health district is better off with the EOCCO.
The board agreed that they need more information from ODS and will set up a meeting in the near future. “We’ll give ODS one shot, let them come to us with answers to the issues,” Brown said.
Bishop added that he appreciated Harney County Commissioner Pete Runnel’s help in getting the EOCCO to pay for most of the services since Nov. 1.
In other business:
• Vloedman stated that having the clinic open on Saturdays has been very well received in the community. Clinic Manager Stacie Rothwell said it has been successful, and stated in her report that they are maintaining a busy schedule on Saturdays;
• Nicki Cross gave a presentation on the credentialing process. She stated that there are 84 credentialed providers and explained to the board how the process works;
• the board approved medical staff privileges to Brian K. Stewart, M.D., and John L. Bauer, D.M.D.
The next board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, in the hospital board conference room.