CCOs Effective in Integrating Healthcare and Housing

Pilots around the state show early success with “habit of collaboration”

The Lund Report, August 12, 2015
by Jan Johnson

When Kenny La Point’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Oregon’s first “housing integrator” was then a member/user on the Central Oregon coordinated care organization’s community advisory council.

La Point was involved with the rehab of a 70-unit apartment building in Bend to add washers and dryers to each apartment, freeing space once used as a laundry room for Housing Works to partner with Mosaic Medical, a federally qualified health clinic, to establish a community-based medical clinic.

“We can’t keep working in silos. It’s the same exact clients,” said La Point.

In the mental health realm, Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc. and Umpqua Health Alliance, the Douglas County CCO, last winter each provided $28,000 to rent apartments for those with mental illness coming out of incarceration through the county mental health/drug court. The Douglas County Housing Authority finds available, low- barrier housing. Community Health Alliance and ADAPT provide intensive wraparound case management.

If the clients succeed, they get to keep the apartment, said Kevin Campbell, CEO of GOBHI. “We know where they are, we know they have a roof over their heads. We can avoid higher costs later with a smaller investment earlier.”