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Oregon Health Plan Members Make Fewer Emergency Visits

Kelly Piet Photography

New state data show that Oregon Health Plan members are making fewer visits to the emergency room and more visits to primary care providers.

Per-person spending growth fell by 1 percentage point.

The numbers released Wednesday suggest Oregon's new coordinated care organizations may be having some success at improving preventative care while lowering costs for Oregon Health Plan Members.

In exchange for nearly $2 billion from the federal government, Oregon promised that coordinated care organizations would reduce the growth in Medicaid spending without skimping on care.

From January to June, the rate of emergency room visits decreased by 9 percent and hospitalizations for congestive heart failure dropped 29 percent compared with 2011. Visits to primary care providers were up 18 percent.