Central Oregon targeted for funds after OHA awarded up to $16 million to improve child health

Oregon will receive millions in new federal funding to develop better ways to reduce health risks for children and prevent unnecessary hospital visits and foster care placements.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has been awarded up to $16 million over seven years from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) Model to improve health for children and youth covered by Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in five Oregon counties, including Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes.

OHA will partner with the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP) at Oregon Health & Science University and local communities to better integrate services across behavioral health, physical health, and other family supports to meet the triple aim of better health, better care, and lower costs. OHA is one of eight awardees selected from across the country.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring extra resources to this region, connecting community partners, health care providers and families to wrap resources around our kids,” said Dana Hargunani, MD, OHA’s chief medical officer. “We will be able to take what we learn from this work to help improve children’s health across the state.”

The model will focus on supporting children and youth ages 0 to 21 who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP in Marion, Polk, Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties. The ultimate goal of the model is to provide effective child- and family-centered care in order to reduce hospital stays and out-of-home placements for children and youth such as foster care and residential behavioral health.

Research shows that many of the factors that determine health outcomes are related to social determinants of health and health equity. This funding aims to help health care providers align with other public programs such as child welfare, education, housing, nutrition, and maternal and child health to expand access to care for children and youth.

The funding includes up to $3 million for the first two years for planning and partnership development and up to $2 million for each of the five implementation years, with some funding contingent on performance.

The model will also help advance Governor Brown’s policy priorities for the Oregon Health Plan by: addressing social determinants of health and health equity, improving family behavioral health support, developing value-based payments for children’s health care, and reducing costs.

The award announcement can be found on the CMS website.

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