Oregon is one of the leading states engaged in innovative health care delivery system reform that includes population health as a central component. Collaboration among key agencies and stakeholders is an important feature of Oregon’s reform efforts, and it occurs at many levels. This case study will highlight the state’s efforts to link the Medicaid delivery system and public health system to support prevention initiatives. Oregon’s experience may be helpful to other states as they consider reforms under Medicaid to advance population health and other prevention strategies.
In Oregon, both the state Medicaid office and state Public Health Division are housed within the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). This agency encompasses all public health care purchasing programs along with health policy and public health. Under a single agency, Medicaid and public health have shared goals and many opportunities to collaborate as partners on a population health strategy designed to improve health outcomes for a geographically defined population. In the roadmap referenced above, we refer to this type of prevention strategy as population level 2 or PL-2. While other case studies have focused on how Oregon is aligning its health care and early learning systems, this case study focuses on collaboration between Medicaid and public health in Oregon to improve health outcomes for a geographically defined population.