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Mon Jan 16, 2017, 09:08 AM

Feds OK Oregons Medicaid plan, but no money attached

Oregon officials cheered the federal government’s green light to continue the state’s Medicaid reform efforts over the next five years, even though the approval does not include any of the $1.25 billion the state had requested during that time.

“I think particularly in these times of uncertainty, the waiver provides continuity, security and coverage for the Oregonians that are on the Oregon Health Plan, which is Oregon’s largest health plan,” Gov. Kate Brown said in a conference call with reporters Friday, referring to Oregon’s Medicaid program, which covers more than 1 million people.

Brown’s office and the Oregon Health Authority have been working against the clock to secure the OK ahead of President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, which will throw Medicaid funding into a state of uncertainty. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will allow the state to continue operating its health care program for low-income individuals in an innovative format, but won’t provide any extra funding to do so.

CMS will have provided Oregon a total of $1.9 billion between July 2012 and June 2017 in the form of a waiver granted by the federal government in exchange for operating its Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan, in an innovative format that limits cost growth to 3.4 percent per member per year. During that time, the state established 16 coordinated care organizations, regional groups that administer Medicaid and are paid in part based on their scores on quality and patient outcome measures.

Read more: http://www.bendbulletin.com/home/4980303-151/feds-ok-oregons-medicaid-plan-but-no-money

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