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Oregon Models State Employee Health Coverage On CCOs

Success among Oregon's coordinated care organizations has prompted the state to offer similar services to state employees.

The Public Employees Benefit Board is one of Oregon's largest purchasers of health care, with more than 130,000 employees and dependents.

PEBB's enrollment window for next year just opened and health insurers have been asked to track performance in the same way as Oregon's new coordinated care organizations. The CCOs provide care for Oregon's Medicaid population. The state has overhauled that system of providing care, working for higher quality and lower costs.

PEBB Vice Chair Janine Smith says the board has asked health insurers to adopt some of those changes

"Some of the same things that we expect to see improving in the Medicaid population, are the same things we'd want to see the state employees health to be improved in," she says.

Heather Conroy of the Service Employees International Union says state workers seem generally open to the idea. But because CCOs are so new, the union will keep a close eye on developments.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting