By News-Register staff • 

State partnership with CCOs to focus on youth behavioral health

Gov. Tina Kotek recently announced a $25 million partnership with Coordinated Care Organizations, with a focus on expanding youth behavioral health services. The selected programs will go to four counties to add psychiatric residential treatment beds.

None of the projects are in Yamhill County, however. Kotek said all of the state’s CCOs agreed to the distribution, saying the projects would benefit the entire state.
“Oregon needs more treatment options to help young people in our state who are struggling with serious behavioral health issues,” Kotek said. “The state and CCOs developed a plan to reinvest surplus Medicaid dollars into Oregon communities, and this partnership will support youth behavioral health projects that we desperately need.”

Dan Cushing, government affairs director for the Yamhill Community Care Organization, agreed.

“When Gov. Kotek called on coordinated care organizations to leverage pandemic-era net income to expand capacity for high-acuity behavioral health services, Yamhill Community Care was eager to participate,” Cushing told the News-Register. “We believe a strength of Oregon’s system is our ability to collaborate with other CCOs to improve health care in Yamhill County and surrounding areas.”

Cushing said that “The four projects outlined in Gov. Kotek’s announcement (youth psychiatric residential and substance use treatment) are considered to be statewide resources intended to support individuals regardless of where they live in Oregon.

“The projects were identified through a collaborative process led by all CCOs’ behavioral health directors with the goal of supporting shovel-ready projects that can quickly and meaningfully address Oregon’s behavioral health crisis. The four chosen projects demonstrated the greatest potential for expanding these critical resources in a timely fashion.”

The Governor’s Office and CCOs identified four projects that serve youth, meet the greatest need, and are geographically diverse. The investments are as follows:

- $13.2 million to the Trillium Family Services Project located in the Portland Metro area to spur new psychiatric residential treatment beds (PRTS) capacity.

- $7.5 million to the Adapt Project, based in Douglas County. This investment will support a new campus currently underway in the region that will provide treatment beds.

- $2.3 million to the Looking Glass Project in Lane County to expand PRTS capacity.

- $2 million to Community Counseling Solutions Project in Morrow County. This investment will close a funding gap for new PRTS.

The partnership was formed in response to record, unanticipated profits among CCOs accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kotek. While CCOs provided the governor with a financial accounting of community reinvestments from 2020-2023, the governor requested CCOs to work together collectively to reinvest an additional $25 million.

In response, CCOs collaborated and assessed projects that would support statewide access and benefit from one-time resources.

“We acknowledge the Medicaid system cannot solve all of Oregon’s health care access problems; however, we are happy to do our part in this public-private partnership,” Cushing said.


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