Originally published at opb.org
The state’s health authority has delivered on a request from Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. Many tribal members say they need help finding health care.
Under federal law, many American Indians and Alaska Natives receive Medicaid without having to choose a network provider.
In practical terms says Erin Fair-Taylor with CareOregon, it means Oregon has about 17,000 people who sometimes have difficulty finding health services.
Fair-Taylor says CareOregon will help better connect them with their tribes’ clinics and other health systems.
“If they know they need to access a particular kind of specialty care or their primary care provider has made a referral and they’re not sure where to go next, they can call us and we can help navigate through the system,” she said.
Last year, the tribes asked the Oregon Health Authority to develop a culturally appropriate program with CareOregon. If CareOregon finds gaps in care, it’ll contact the state for a remedy.