By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

YCCO names executive director

Just a few weeks after receiving its official certification and nonprofit status, the Yamhill County Care Organization has named an executive director. It has chosen Jim Carlough.

The YCCO was created in response to a legislative mandate that each of the state’s 36 counties create a plan to achieve the triple aim of improved health in the community, better patient care and reduced health care costs.

Carlough said that is a unique match with his professional experience. During more than 18 years in the health care industry, including work with managed care services and multiple health care delivery systems, he has developed a well-rounded view of patient access needs, cost-containment opportunities and the importance of patient satisfaction, he said.

“Carlough combines business acumen with a broad knowledge of the community members served by the Oregon Health Plan,” said Silas Halloran-Steiner, YCCO’s board chairman.

“Jim’s experience in senior leadership positions with a diversity of health plans will allow him to make an immediate contribution to Yamhill County Care Organization’s strategic planning and implementation efforts,” Halloran-Steiner said in a formal statement. “Jim has lived with his wife and children in Newberg since 2005, so he is not only familiar with local concerns, but committed to our community’s well-being.” 

Carlough said he feels deeply committed to vulnerable populations and to the goal of enhancing delivery systems to clients. Most recently, Carlough worked as a senior manager in provider services for CareOregon, the largest managed care organization serving OHP members. 

In his new position, overseeing roughly 18,000 Oregon Health Plan members, Carlough is tasked with managing both operations. He is also responsible for coordinating with partner organizations like CareOregon and the Mid-Valley Behavioral Network, which provide claims processing, provider contracting and other services for the CCO.

He will work with the board, member advisory council and clinical advisory panel in developing a transformation plan demonstrating how YCCO can work to improve health outcomes, increase member satisfaction and reduce costs. Each Oregon CCO is required to develop a“The challenges we will face are similar to other CCOs in the state,” Carlough said. “It will take system transformation to accomplish this, and YCCO is positioned very well to succeed.”

The legislative mandate stipulates the transformation plan be presented to the Oregon Health Authority by Jan. 15, so time is short. The YCCO has reserved $500,000, to be matched dollar for dollar by CareOregon, to cover the transition cost.

The YCCO membership includes representatives of the Willamette Valley Medical Center, Providence Newberg Medical Center, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinic, Physicians Medical Center, Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network, NW Senior and Disability Services, CareOregon and Yamhill County Public Health, along with local doctors, dentists and non-profits.