CORVALLIS, Oregon – Coalition for a Healthy Oregon (COHO) is pleased to announce that
InterCommunity Health Network (IHN-CCO) has joined its statewide association of coordinated
care organizations (CCOs). COHO members are CCOs that connect members to physical,
behavioral, and dental care in communities across the state. CCOs provide high-quality, locally
controlled health care and wellness services to people who qualify for Medicaid due to low
income or disability.

COHO’s seven CCOs serve more than 282,000 Oregonians, amounting to 39% of CCO members
outside Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties. IHN-CCO serves more than 71,000
Oregonians in Benton, Lincoln, and Linn counties.

“We are pleased to welcome InterCommunity Health Network CCO to the COHO family,” said
Doug Flow, COHO president. “We will all benefit from their unique perspectives and ideas.”
COHO members have been top performers in health quality metrics, which improve population
health while saving taxpayer dollars.

“InterCommunity Health Network shares COHO’s values of advocating for members, fully
funding Medicaid, and maintaining local control,” said CEO Bruce Butler. “COHO is a thought
leader in Medicaid policy, and we will collaboratively continue the hard work of transforming
health care for the benefit of our members.”

IHN-CCO was formed in 2012 by local public, private, and non-profit partners to unify health
services and systems for Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) members in Benton, Lincoln, and Linn
Counties. IHN-CCO is committed to improving the health of their communities while lowering or
containing the cost of care, coordinating health initiatives, seeking efficiencies through blending
of services and infrastructure, and engaging all stakeholders to increase the quality, reliability,
and availability of care.

COHO has played a key role in the continued evolution of the Oregon Health Plan and health
care policy in Oregon since it was founded in 2005. With the support of its members, COHO is
known for bringing innovative ideas to Oregon health policy.

In the current legislative session, COHO has worked with legislators to advance House Bill 3353,
which asks the federal government for greater flexibility and matching dollars for provider
reimbursement and investments in the social determinants of health. When Oregon faced a
budget crisis due to the COVID-19 recession, COHO was instrumental in providing to state
budget leaders a pathway to maintain Medicaid funding.

About COHO

COHO’s members include Advanced Health (serving Coos and Curry Counties), AllCare Health
(serving Josephine, Jackson, and Curry Counties and parts of Douglas County), Cascade Health
Alliance (serving Klamath County), Trillium Community Health Plan (serving Lane County and
parts of Linn and Douglas Counties), Umpqua Health Alliance (serving Douglas County), Yamhill
Community Care Organization (serving Yamhill County and parts of Washington and Polk
Counties), and InterCommunity Health Network (serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties).
COHO and its partners have helped expand the number of individuals who qualify for the
Oregon Health Plan, promoted primary and preventive care, strengthened wraparound
services, and secured stable health care funding through the passage of provider assessments
and Ballot Measure 101.

CCOs make community investments that address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) and Health Equity. The OHA then looks at those SDOH related community investments and decides what specific investments qualify for Health Related Services (HRS). Historically, some of these investments are not accepted as HRS, but rather, “administrative expenses,” and thus, these are not captured in the rate of growth for future rate setting cycles. This erodes CCOs’ ability in forward years to sustainably fund community programs. Some of these decisions are tied to what CMS defines as HRS, meaning this is more than just an issue at the state level.

HB 3353 requires the OHA to include in its 1115 Waiver renewal request:

  • Up to 3% of CCOs’ budgets can be counted as medical spend if they are: investments improving health equity, community-based SDOH programs, or improve the overall health of the community; or enhanced payments to providers who can demonstrate that they can address the culturally and linguistically appropriate services needed in their community, or that the increased funding can improve services to the community as a whole.
  • To ensure the equitable distribution or redistribution of resources and power, at least 30% of these funds will be dedicated to further the goals of the CCOs Health Equity Plan and Community Health Improvement Plan as approved by the Community Advisory Councils.
  • At least 20% of these funds will be used to address needs in Behavioral Health.
  • Create an oversight committee (modeled on the Metrics and Scoring Committee) within the OHA Office of Equity and Inclusion to review the outcomes of all investments in Health Equity, SDOH, and provider investments. This Committee would be charged with recommending best practices and writing the criteria for investments that qualify for this (which would also have to be approved by CMS).
  • Change these funds to be considered medical spending, which will create sustainable funding for programs year over year.