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WVCH and Salem Hospital reach agreement: The CCO and hospital agree to work together; rebuild trust

Jul 08, 2013

Willamette Valley Community Health (WVCH) and Salem Hospital have reached an agreement through mediation to settle a lawsuit brought by Salem Hospital over a contract dispute.

The agreement calls for Salem Hospital to drop its lawsuit against WVCH and for WVCH to pay Salem Hospital $457,000.

“With this agreement we are now engaging in a process to rebuild trust as we move forward,” said Ruth Bauman, Chair of the WVCH Board. “Now our CCO can give its full attention to the mission of preventing illness and improving care for those we serve in Polk and Marion counties.”

The two organizations agreed that they will negotiate in good faith a new participating provider contract for Salem Hospital and quickly work to resolve $330,000 in disputed claims.

“We are pleased to have this contract dispute settled,” said Norm Gruber, CEO of Salem Health, Salem Hospital’s parent company. “Salem Hospital is committed to providing care for people on the Oregon Health Plan and the resolution of these outstanding issues will help.”

The organizations also agreed that governance issues will be handled inside the CCO Governance Board, as current CCO legislation and the operating agreement prescribes.

“The governor’s vision of health care transformation calls on the members of the CCO to find innovative solutions to meet the health needs of our community,” said Cheryl Wolfe, Chief Operating Officer of Salem Health and Salem Hospital representative on the CCO Board. “We look forward to fine tuning the governance processes to help us move forward.”

“This has been a tumultuous time in the brief history of our CCO, but we now have a path forward to build a truly successful and fully integrated CCO here in the Mid-Valley,” said Bauman.

Willamette Valley Community Health is a group made up of all types of health care providers and community partners who work together for individuals on the OHP in our community. Willamette Valley Community Health’s mission is to better coordinate care so that that all of our providers— doctors, counselors, nurses — will be better able to prevent illness and improve care. Instead of just treating patients when they get sick, CCO providers can work with patients to keep them healthy and better manage existing health conditions.

Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Visit us at and; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

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