Jackson County Mental Health could lose millions of dollars in following years

Jackson County, Ore. — Jackson County could be out millions of dollars as local ‘coordinated care organizations’ look to restructure how they’ll treat the mentally ill.

With that large amount of funding in question, the county faces some big questions as it closes out the year.

The director of Jackson County Health & Human Services tells me the county may need to make a few adjustments with an upcoming budget shortage.

For now, Jackson County Mental Health is waiting on more details for future plans from both CCO’s.

Jackson Care Connect and AllCare Health are coordinated care organizations dedicated to helping Oregon Health Plan patients get care.

Over the last few years, they have been paying Jackson County to provide mental health services.

Both groups are making changes impacting patients and the county.

Jackson Care Connect is pulling out of its $15 million annual contract with Jackson County and moving to other providers.

It says the move simplifies care.

“We are now integrating all of the responsibility of the management under one roof instead of Jackson County being one manager we’re bringing all of that under one roof,” Jennifer Lind from Jackson Care Connect said.

AllCare on the other hand is handing over their management of its mental health care to Options of Southern Oregon.

The plan is for Options to subcontract with Jackson County Mental Health.

“Sometimes we’ll have people receiving mental health services at Josephine County and then physical health needs are being met in Jackson, so our hope is to make it very simple for our members to get their needs met where they need to have them met,” Athena Goldberg from AllCare said.

Jackson County knew it was losing the Jackson Care Connect but AllCare was a different story.

“With AllCare, the news of that transition did come as a surprise and honestly we’re lacking some of the details of what that’s going to look like at this point,” Director Mark Orndoff from Jackson County Health & Human Services said.

Jackson County Mental Health says it needed to hear more from Options before deciding if there will need to be any changes to their plans of expansion and hire new positions.

As for the transitions, AllCare says there will not be any changes until April 1st, and Jackson Care Connect plans to make its change over the next 18 months.

“We’re prioritizing that there is time for the county to adjust and make any adaptations that it needs to make to ensure that it’s a strong part of our mental health community and also that our members that are being asked to transition over this time are able to do that in a very planned and intentional fashion,” Lind said.

All groups want to make it clear that the needs for OHP members will continue to be provided, and these changes are with management only.

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