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GOBHI Providers Behavioral Health Newsletter February 2023

Update From The CEO

Picture of Karen Wheeler, GOBHI CEO

Greetings, providers.

I hope this newsletter finds you staying safe and warm during this surprisingly severe winter weather. I will join you in awaiting spring and the return of temperate travel conditions.

The 2023 Oregon Legislative Session is well underway and proving to be action-packed. Cautious optimism is the theme of the budget discussions. Review the legislative session piece of this newsletter for more information.

We are closely involved in information sharing and advocacy for behavioral health causes in the legislative session.

For example, GOBHI has finished and released a fact sheet about the importance of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCHBCs) and shared it with legislators. Please share this educational piece with your colleagues and those who may be interested in learning more about this exciting and proven healthcare delivery model. We are now developing a fact sheet on Aid & Assist and its ramifications in Eastern Oregon.

This month’s edition of the provider newsletter covers state budget news, language access services for members, a “Save the Date” for the Northwest Regional Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Conference, information regarding member redetermination, and a SUD policy reminder.

Thank you for your steadfast work serving Eastern Oregon’s vulnerable and priority populations. I look forward to addressing the needs of our community members alongside you, now and in the months ahead.


Karen Wheeler, MA CEO, GOBHI / Tribal Liaison, EOCCO


Providers: State legislative update

A summary and overview:

Oregon economists are predicting larger revenues than expected but are urging careful budgeting. Concerns of a recession are less certain as Oregon’s tax revenue continues to outpace expectations, according to state economists. The state’s latest quarterly economic forecast estimates that legislators will have nearly $700 million more to spend than originally expected.

Oregon lawmakers are also sharing details of a $200 million housing package. As you know, GOBHI and our provider network are dedicated to the entire wellbeing of those we serve, and housing is a factor too critical to be overstated in this cause. Thus, we are closely watching this development and ready to support effective housing initiatives in our region, pending specific analysis.

Legislators plan to spend the nearly $200 million within the next few weeks to address housing and homelessness, describing it as a “down payment” with more to come. A pair of bills are expected to be ready for a vote on the House floor by the second week of March.

  • Read a news story with more information here.


Responsive Language Access Training

EOCCO now offers Linguava interpreter services to our clinical and behavioral health partners at no cost for active EOCCO members. Partners must attend a training prior to using Linguava’s services. Join us for an upcoming training that will cover:

  • When to use a Health Care Interpreter (HCI)

  • Best practices for working with interpreters

  • How to request a phone or video interpreter through Linguava

Wednesday, March 29 from 1:30 – 2:15 p.m. PDT

For questions, please contact Rae Mikel, Health Equity & DEI Specialist at GOBHI,


NW CIT Conference coming soon

The Northwest Regional Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) conference will take place in Seaside on May 23-24.

This two-day conference welcomes first responders, behavioral health, resources, and consumers from all over Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. The days are spent learning skills, sharing ideas, attending presentations, and networking with an emphasis on crisis intervention. This conference includes a keynote presentation, tracks of training, an awards banquet, and much more.

Working together as a Crisis Intervention Team is critical when responding to people in behavioral health crisis or with a substance abuse disorder. The system works better when there's an understanding of what each entity does to help an individual.

Visit the conference page for more information and to register.


EOCCO: Medicaid Member redeterminations

*The following is from the latest EOCCO provider update.

During the Federal Public Health Emergency, Medicaid agencies were not allowed to disenroll members from Medicaid plans. With the ending of the public health emergency, Medicaid continuous enrollment period ends on March 31, 2023 (unwinding). Members who were continuously enrolled will now be redetermined for eligibility in Oregon Medicaid. Beginning April 1, 2023 Medicaid eligibility redeterminations will resume.

EOCCO Members will receive notices from OHA between April 2023- January 2024

OHA expects some members to be automatically renewed without any action necessary if their information is already updated. If additional information is needed for renewal, they have 90 days to complete and provide requested information to OHA. Those who are no longer eligible will have 60 days before their OHP benefits end. Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace will send information to people who are no longer eligible for OHP benefits and advise of potential coverage options and financial help through the marketplace.

EOCCO members are strongly encouraged to update their contact information on the OHA ONE Portal in order to ensure they receive their redetermination letters at the correct address and are not terminated due to lack of response to OHA.

Additional information is available on the EOCCO website:


SUD Waiver reminder

Background: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Oregon’s Substance Use Disorder 1115 Demonstration waiver, effective April 8, 2021, through March 31, 2026. This SUD specific waiver helps build a full continuum of care for Medicaid members with substance use disorders. The following is part of a series of updates from GOBHI helping to keep you informed about the waiver and its related requirements.

  • As Of Jan. 1, 2022 OHA has opened up several new SUD reimbursement codes. OHA has updated the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) with these changes. Providers can now bill for these new rates and services for dates on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

  • Please refer to the CMS approval letter:

For more information, visit our SUD 1115 Waiver Website, which is updated on an ongoing basis. For questions, contact Michelle Brandsma at GOBHI,


Program reminder - Foster Care

Foster homes for youth are greatly needed in Eastern Oregon!

The GOBHI Therapeutic Foster Care program provides full-time/part-time services and care to youth in foster homes with foster parents certified and trained by GOBHI. Youth are involved with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS), Child Welfare Division.

Please visit our website to learn more about the program and how you can help by sharing information, promoting the importance of foster care, and referring individuals who are able to support this critical effort.

Help us build a network of caring homes to support youth across our state. For more information about referral incentives and how you can support foster home recruitment efforts, see this flier or contact a member of our Foster Care Team.


Questions? Topics?

Invitation: County Highlights

This newsletter is published during the last week of each month.

One of our ongoing sections is a “spotlight” of each county. Each month, we invite updates from the 12 counties in our service area. We invite content from you for this section: 3-4 sentences (or ~150-300 words) about news in your county, such as staff, building, and success story content. Please contact Pat Mulvihill to sign up for one of the 12 months. Aside from sign-ups, we will reach out to you to help gather the content. Thank you for your support.

Submission due dates for comments and submitted write-ups: the second Friday of each month, at 4 p.m. Next due date is March 10.

Helpful Links:


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