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Managed care making slow start
A new health care option launched last year as a partial cure to Oregon's troubled workers' compensation system is having little effect on the problem so far, according to officials in government and industry.
Since January, health care providers have had the option to form managed care organizations (MCOs), which could contract with workers' compensation insurers and self-insured employers. Under the contracts, injured workers could be routed to specific medical providers and their care would be "managed" to reduce costs and get them back on the job more quickly.
But only three MCOs have been certified by the state, and just one - Vantage Onsite in Portland - has signed up clients.
"The MCO process is stumbling along," said Cecil Tibbetts, a co-chair of the ongoing labor-management committee charged with monitoring the workers' compensation reforms. Tibbetts is the …