Oregon officials brace for shutdown of Medicaid provider

December 19, 2017

In this undated photo, Bruce Goldberg, head of Oregon's Department of Human Services, talks with Jeff Heatherington, second from left, Cindy Becker, back to camera, and Bill Murray in the hall in front of the Governor's office at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. (Doug Beghtel/The Oregonian via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon health officials are preparing to transfer Portland-area Medicaid recipients to a new health care provider after their current carrier announced it would likely close.

Jeff Heatherington, the president and CEO of the current provider, FamilyCare, said Monday the company’s chance of survival is “probably about 5 percent at the best.” The state’s proposed reimbursement rates for next year are too low and estimates medical costs would exceed revenues by $95 million, Heatherington said.

Oregon Health Authority employees met with FamilyCare representatives Monday to map out the transition, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen on Monday did not rule out another contract with FamilyCare.

“We continue to work with FamilyCare and hope that they will continue serving the Portland market in 2018,” Allen said in a statement. “This is their business decision to make. If they decide that their business model is not financially viable, we look forward to working with them to ensure an orderly transition of their clients.”

If FamilyCare closes, its members would be transferred to another coordinated care organization under contract with the state.

FamilyCare’s board voted Thursday to decline any state contract that would result in an operating deficit, Heatherington said. An initial round of 250 layoffs will take effect Jan. 5, he said, and 70 employees will be retained to help with the transition.


Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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