Ore. House approves Kitzhaber health overhaul

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon House has voted to approve Gov. John Kitzhaber's initiative to redesign the health care delivery and finance system for Oregon Health Plan patients in hopes of improving care and lowering costs.

The House's approval sends the measure to Kitzhaber's desk. It allows the state to implement a plan to create coordinated care organizations that would be responsible for mental, physical and dental health of patients in their area.

Proponents hope they can stem rapidly rising health care costs by managing chronic illnesses and mental health conditions so that patients can avoid expensive emergency room visits.

Opponents say they're concerned the idea isn't thoroughly vetted.