FamilyCare Health in danger of closing, leaving patients and care providers fearful


More than 100,000 Oregon Health Plan patients fear they may have to ditch their doctors next year.

That's because FamilyCare Health is shutting down. They say a new contract with the state would force them into bankruptcy.

So what's next for FamilyCare patients?

As one health provided told KATU today, if FamilyCare shuts down, it won't affect anyone's access to coverage, but it may affect their access to care.

More Oregon Health Plan patients use a Coordinated Care Organization to find doctors and specialists.

There are just two in the Portland metro area: FamilyCare and Health Share of Oregon, but they often contract with different healthcare providers.

KATU spoke with several providers today -- they say if FamilyCare closes, those patients would move to the other CCO.

And once they're Health Share patients, many will have to find a new doctor.

That's why the providers KATU spoke with are sounding the alarm, especially for those who need specialized care.

They say many providers are already overburdened with patients, some with long waiting lists.

They fear that thousands of new clients won't be able to get the same care they had before.

More than half on Tom O'Leary's clients use FamilyShare -- if they close he says this could lead to a healthcare crisis.

A Tigard mom told KATU her three-year-old has sleep apnea, but his pediatrician has been helping him find treatment for two years now.

She says they use FamilyCare --and if they shut down -- they'll have to find a new pediatrician and start all over.

FamilyCare hopes the state will step in at the last minute.

The Health Authority says no one will lose OHP benefits regardless of what happens.

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