A new state health care initiative in Portland seeks to keep people out of doctor’s offices.
CareOregon administers the state’s Medicare and Medicaid. It has formed four “Community Innovations” teams to reach out with pilot programs to people with issues that impact their health. The first pilot, “Give to Get,” is an informal network of neighbors seeking to reduce social isolation among people with chronic conditions. Rose Englert, a senior CareOregon manager, says this involves everything from simply checking in on older people to raking leaves for those with disabilities:
Englert: “We all know that ultimately a very small percentage of our overall health is what happens in a provider office. And while that’s incredibly important, we’re very interested in assisting people in that overall well-being, and collaborating with members.”
Englert says the Community Innovations program, as it develops, hopes to extend beyond Portland to help members with concerns that impact their health, such as housing and food insecurity.