Oregon proposes mandatory newborn home visits


One of the governor’s priorities that he’s most excited about is the beginning investment in a six-year program to create universal home visits for new parents. When the program is complete, every new parent — this includes adoptions — would receive a series of two or three visits by someone like a nurse or other health care practitioner. The visits could include basic health screenings for babies; hooking parents up with primary care physicians; linking them to other services; and coordinating the myriad childhood immunizations that babies need.

“This isn’t something for people in trouble. This is stuff all kids need. Stuff my kids needed,” Allen said.

e’s no stranger to issues related to youths; besides his work at the Health Authority, Allen also sits on the Sherwood School Board.

He said the state sees about 40,000 births per year. The universal home visit program has been piloted in Lincoln County. No other state in the nation offers universal visits for new parents, he said, although North Carolina has been a leader in the effort.

The Health Authority also will spend this year taking the next step in the advancement of Coordinated Care Organizations, or CCOs. They are designed to blend a variety of health services — such as physical health care, addictions and mental health, and dental care — to serve people who receive health care coverage under the Oregon Health Plan, or Medicaid.

Insiders are calling this year’s changes “CCO 2.0.”

Proposed legislation.