Cascade Comprehensive Care, operating as Cascade Health Alliance, has been certified by the Oregon Health Authority to begin providing Klamath County Medicaid recipients with fully-capitated services under Gov. John Kitzhaber’s coordinated care model of health care delivery around Dec. 1, according to Cascade CEO Bill Guest.

“We have already signed a contract with the state,” Guest said. “The state has asked for more information on our mental health providers, and we’ll need to have negotiations completed by mid-October to meet the state’s Oct. 22 deadline.”

Under the coordinated care model, Klamath County will be given a global budget by the state of Oregon to provide physical, mental health and dental care to eligible recipients of Medicaid benefits with the goal of reducing costs, providing better quality care and allowing providers to share information.

The OHA had assigned a moderator to Klamath County to resolve an impasse between the Klamath County commissioners, who head county mental health and wanted Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., a company based in The Dalles, to provide mental health services to the county, and CCC.

CCC, which has been a managed care provider in Klamath County for 19 years, protested GOBHI’s involvement, saying it could handle all three branches of health care delivery without aid from an out-of-area provider.

Outlining the details

Guest said it is now up to the commissioners how they choose to participate.

“It’s our choice that they do participate,” he said. “We have sent a letter to the county asking how they would like to do that.”

Guest said he hopes to soon sign a memorandum of understanding with the county outlining how it will maintain the mental health safety net for those who do not qualify for Medicaid and how it will authorize payment for mental health services.

CHA has already begun negotiating with local private mental health care providers, Guest said, such as the Klamath Youth Development Center and the Klamath Basin Office of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.

“We hope that the county has a desire to work with us,” Guest said.

Calls to members of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners were not returned by press time.