July 8, 2017

OHP specifies program care for Oregon's Native American tribes

Spokesman files
OHA, CAREOREGON ANNOUNCE NEW HEALTH CARE MODEL SPECIFIC TO TRIBAL NEEDS

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced today that CareOregon will build a care coordination model for American Indian/Alaska Native members in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) fee-for-service program. It will do this in coordination with all nine federally recognized Native American tribes in Oregon and the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA). 

In 2016 all nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon asked OHA to coordinate with CareOregon to develop a culturally appropriate, statewide program of care coordination services for tribal members on OHP. This care coordination program would not only be specific to tribal member needs, but it would engage directly with each tribes' own health care clinics and systems of care. 

Leaders from the nine tribes and NARA worked directly with OHA and CareOregon to develop a new care coordination contract. Starting August 1, American Indian/Alaska Native OHP members on fee-for-service will begin working with CareOregon for their care coordination needs. 

"We feel very honored to have been chosen by the tribes to provide care coordination services, and we take seriously the responsibility of developing with members of the tribes a culturally responsive program that meets the unique needs of the Native American population in Oregon," said Eric C. Hunter, CareOregon's CEO and president. 

Care coordination is hands-on member engagement that helps OHP members with chronic or acute illnesses access health care services and navigate health care options. 

"Through care coordination, we bring individual members, their providers, specialists and community resources together into a unified whole to help them overcome the barriers to health," said Amit Shah, CareOregon's chief medical officer. 

Culturally responsive care is a key element in Oregon's health system transformation to help provide OHP members with better care, better health and lower costs. 

"This is an important step forward in providing quality health care that incorporates and respects the needs of Oregon's tribal members," said Julie Johnson, OHA Tribal Affairs director. "OHA was pleased to help make this partnership with CareOregon and the Oregon tribes a reality." 

"All of Oregon's nine tribes and NARA have been working together to ensure all Native Americans in Oregon receive the highest quality health care. This helps in that effort," said Caroline Cruz, health and human services manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. 

"We appreciate the efforts of the state in recognizing and addressing the health care needs of Native Americans," said Sharon Stanphill, health operations officer, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. "This will assist with continuity of care at our tribal facilities and help ensure access to health care for Native Americans in Oregon." 

Even though CareOregon will soon provide care coordination services for American Indians/Alaska Natives on the OHP fee-for-service program, no one will have to change clinics or providers. CareOregon will work with tribal health leaders to help tribal members: 
-- Get timely appointments with a doctor, specialist, or other providers 
-- Find a specialty provider 
-- Get the equipment, supplies, or services they need through the Oregon Health Plan 
-- Coordinate care among patients, doctors, other providers, community support agencies, tribal health center and social service organizations 
-- Connect users to other resources in their community. 

For more information about care coordination or the services that CareOregon provides, call 503-416-4100 or 800-224-4840.

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