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OHA Director proposes agency reshuffle

The agency will consolidate both Medicaid and behavioral health units, which are spread across divisions in the agency.

Patrick AllenThe Oregon Health Authority is planning a reorganization.

The agency will consolidate both Medicaid and behavioral health units, which are both spread across divisions in the agency, according to an internal email from Patrick Allen, director of OHA.

"This proposal reflects the feedback I have heard from OHA employees, community partners, tribes and external stakeholders," Allen wrote. "I heard loud and clear from many of you (and many of our partners) that our organizational structure has been hard to navigate, makes it hard to collaborate and has separated important functions — such as Medicaid and behavioral health — that need to be better coordinated."

Nobody will lose their jobs, Allen said, but some people might move divisions or get new managers.

The agency is also planning to expand an ombudsman program for Oregon Health Plan patients, among other changes intended to improve the state's relationship with Medicaid providers

Allen added the changes are "not frozen in amber, because we would like to have your feedback first."

Allen, who was appointed OHA director last summer, held office hours for employees to give feedback this week, and is planning to send out a survey to get employee feedback.

The reorganization is expected to take effect July 1, pending approval by the Oregon Health Policy Board.