Governor Kitzhaber’s canceling of a visit to the Oregon Coast this week was apparently to put medical reform’s money where its mouth is. Kitzhaber flew back to Washington DC to sign an agreement with the Obama Administration that will financially front-load Oregon’s fledgling medicaid program so that medical outcomes improve while costs go down. At least that’s the plan. The idea is to treat the whole life of a person, not just when they get sick. Kitzhaber says disease and other medical problems should be prevented or managed more effectively earlier, rather than being treated later when a person is REALLY sick and at much higher cost to the patient and taxpayer.
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