Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare CEO steps down

From the Portland Business Journal, April 24, 2008

Leslie Ford is stepping down as Chief Executive of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare Inc., Oregon’s largest provider of mental health and addictions treatment services.

Ford held the post for more than six years, and previously served for 13 years as the CEO of Network Behavioral Healthcare Inc., an agency that merged with Cascadia.

The Cascadia board of directors has appointed Derald Walker as the new CEO, effective immediately. Walker had served as a clinical vice president for Cascadia for less than one year.

Cascadia has recently struggled financially as it made major investments in new electronic business and billing systems, including a comprehensive, state of the art electronic medical records system, while continuing to provide client services in an environment with constantly changing reimbursement models. Cascadia, which employs more than 1,000 people, provides services in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion and Lane counties.

Portland-based Cascadia in December was asked to repay $2.7 million in overpayments it received from Medicaid in the wake of a steep drop in Oregon Health Plan coverage. It is one of at least a half-dozen organizations that may need to repay Medicaid dollars due to overbilling.

Cascadia ended its last fiscal year with a budget of $56 million, and earnings of $250,000, after serving about 23,000 clients. It has virtually no cash reserves.