CareOregon, in partnership with Columbia Pacific CCO, will invest $7.5 million investment in behavioral health service providers, including $594,000 to providers serving Clatsop, Columbia and Tillamook counties. Organizations will use the funds as direct cash incentives to recruit and retain mental health providers serving the region’s highest need patients.
Known as the CareOregon Emergency Behavioral Health Workforce Stabilization Fund, this one-time $7.5 million cash infusion will provide funding to approximately 25 behavioral health provider agencies who serve nearly 85% of the highest need patients served by the Oregon Health Plan in the Portland Metro, Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook and Jackson County regions.
The goal of this funding is to help address the current symptoms of provider burnout, which leads to highly trained professionals leaving the field, resulting in higher caseloads for those who remain, and ultimately in less access to community mental and substance use treatment for patients.
Funding will be distributed to behavioral health provider agencies with the aim of passing funds on to providers in the form of retention bonuses, housing support, or other financial incentives to support these essential workers, many of whom make less working in community mental health than they could in other positions that require less training.