Oregon’s Medicaid system sustained another shock Thursday when the state’s largest coordinated care organization announced that it is parting ways with longtime Chief Executive Janet Meyer.
Health Share of Oregon, which serves about 215,000 Medicaid patients in the Portland area, said the time seemed right for the organization to find a new leader. “The board members appreciate all that Janet has done,” said Marnie Kuyl, who heads Washington County’s department of health and human services. “She’s developed Health Share and made it the thriving organization that it is.
“But there are big changes on the horizon,” Kuyl added. “Janet and the board agreed it was time for a leadership change. It was a mutual decision. “
Meyer has led Health Share since 2012. It’s one of Oregon’s 16 coordinated care organizations, the front-line health care providers for most of the state’s nearly 1 million Medicaid recipients. Like the other coordinated care operations, Health Share is expected to restrict its annual rate increase to 3.4 percent, which some industry experts contend is unsustainable at a time when health care costs overall are rising 5 to 6 percent year.
The news comes several months after FamilyCare, another coordinated care organization that also served Portland, decided to exit the business after bitter squabbling with the state over reimbursement rates.
Last week, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported that CareOregon, one of Heath Share’s largest contractors, expected to lose $33 million in 2018, after losing $63 million in the prior two years.
Taken together, the developments raise questions about Oregon’s coordinated care model just as the state prepares a public bidding process to possibly select new players in 2019.
Meyer could not be immediately reached. In a written statement, she said: “There are big challenges ahead as the state envisions the future of CCOs, and I believe Health Share is poised for success in delivering on its mission of better care, smarter spending and healthier people.”
Through the first three quarters of 2016, the most recent financial information available, Health Share posted net income of $330,859 on operating revenue of $795.2 million.
Meyer was paid more than $300,000 a year.
Meyer was passionate about Health Share’s mission of providing good health care to the poor. She certainly didn’t sound like someone ready to hang it up in her letter that appeared in Health Share’s most recent annual report:
“When times are uncertain, or when the stakes are high, organizations tend to hunker down,” she wrote. “But Health Share was not built to retreat; Health Share was built to lead. Now is the time to push even harder toward better care, smarter spending, and healthier people in our community. Only by continuing our journey of health system transformation will we succeed in ending the cycle of poverty and creating healthy and stable families that will be the foundation of the new economy.”
— Jeff Manning