McMinnville, Ore. — Yamhill County Care Organization (Yamhill CCO) celebrates its
first year of operations this month. While planning for more health-care improvement
objectives in the months and years ahead, Yamhill CCO is marking the anniversary with
a look back at the past year’s accomplishments, and anticipating a Letter of Intent from
the Early Learning Council to award one of the state’s first Early Learning Hubs to
Yamhill CCO manages care for the physical and mental health care needs of Oregon
Health Plan (OHP) (Medicaid) members in Yamhill County, and by July 2014 will add
transportation and dental care. It is one of 16 local Coordinated Care Organizations
(CCOs) established to comply with state statutes affecting OHP clients.
Although most CCOs were formed by existing health care providers, including regional
health plans and individual practice associations, Yamhill County leaders and providers
chose to apply as a new non-profit organization, which gives more local control and
accountability to the public. Its board members represent the spectrum of health care
and community service interests within Yamhill County and serving mostly Yamhill
“Community input and involvement is highly valued by Yamhill CCO,” says Jim
Carlough, Yamhill CCO executive director. While all CCOs must have clinical advisory
panels (CAPs) and community advisory councils (CACs), Yamhill CCO has broadened
this shared responsibility with good results, he says. “Yamhill CCO held a joint session
of its board of directors, clinical advisory panel and community advisory council; and, a
member of the CAC serves on the Board of Directors.”
“Our community forum in June led to new ideas and goals for Yamhill CCO for 2014 and
beyond,” Carlough says. The three bodies will meet jointly again this fall to review
progress, and to project the work over the next months, including the task of
implementing the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.
“It’s a major accomplishment for us to have such a productive forum where health
providers, citizens and OHP members can brainstorm on how to improve and impact
community health,” Carlough says.
Here are some of the current efforts:
Yamhill CCO has funded two rounds of “Invest Forward” projects to address needs
identified by the community. These projects are:
- Project ABLE, operated in coordination with the Traditional Health Care Worker Hub, will work with physicians and wellness teams to help clients who use a lot of health services to learn how to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
- Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center will increase access to comprehensive primary care, prevention services, mental health, and dental care for Oregon Health Plan members when the Affordable Care Act is expanded in 2014.
- Patient Activation Measure assessment tool will allow OHP care providers to evaluate and support patients in improving their own health.
- Behaviorists in Primary Care is a program supported by clinical leaders from George Fox University to place mental health clinicians (behaviorists) in practice settings at medical homes throughout the county.
- Community HUB Project will deploy North West Senior & Disability Services’ traditional health workers to ensure access and coordination of care for the most medically fragile members.
- Care Coordinator and Panel Manager staff has been deployed at Physicians Medical Center in McMinnville as key members of the patient-centered primary care home.
- Crimson Care Registry is a health information technology that will help the provider community to bridge the gap between various electronic health record systems and aggregate clinical data for the broader community coordination of care.
Another great community accomplishment over the past year is the work of the
Yamhill Early Childhood Coordinating Council (ECCC), which led to a partnership
with Yamhill CCO and a collective effort to apply to be a local Early Learning Hub.
“By having the Early Learning Hub under the Yamhill CCO umbrella, we create the
capacity to achieve the core missions of both these entities toward better health and
education outcomes for Yamhill County children and families,” Carlough says.
“Children comprise 70 percent of our current membership, and health is a primary
factor in their readiness to learn.”
With leadership from the two advisory groups, Yamhill CCO has also been working to
improve quality of care throughout provider organizations.
“Yamhill CCO is committed to improving community health and wellness,” says Silas
Halloran¬Steiner, director of Yamhill County Health and Human Services and chair of
the Yamhill CCO board of directors.
“There are great opportunities for system coordination and improved care due to the
high degree of community and provider involvement in Yamhill CCO,” Halloran-Steiner
For more information about Yamhill County Care Organization, contact Jim Carlough at
For information about Oregon’s Early Learning Hub initiative, see