Health care in Oregon becoming increasingly expensive, report says – Oregon Capital Chronicle – Oregon Capital Chronicle

Nurses and other staff are suffering chronic exhaustion. (Christine Torres Hicks/Oregon Health & Science University)
Oregonians are increasingly paying a bigger share of their income for health care, the latest state report on health care costs shows. 
The Oregon Health Authority said in the report, published Tuesday, that Oregonians saw an increase of nearly 50% in health care costs between 2013 and 2019. That’s an average of nearly 7% a year. In 2019, the rise dropped to 4.4%, just above the national average of 3.8%.
The state is working toward limiting the rise in health care costs a year, capping them at 3.4% for all Oregonians, whether they’re seniors on Medicare, on commercial insurance, which includes employee plans, or on Medicaid, the health care system for low-income Americans. 
Medicaid serves about 1.4 million people in Oregon, or about one-third of the state’s 4.3 million people. Medicare serves nearly 25% and the rest of the population that’s insured is on commercial plans, either through the federal marketplace or employers. 
According to the report, those on Medicare saw the biggest health care increases – nearly 60% between 2013 and 2019 – while those on commercial plans saw a 45% increase. Medicaid, which is managed in Oregon by regional insurers called coordinated care organizations, had the lowest increases over those seven years: just over 30%.
Health care costs are growing faster than wages and the economy, the report showed. It also noted that many people are struggling with out-of-pocket costs and have delayed care because of that.
“The effects of rising health costs have a direct impact on the well-being of people, families and our communities,” Patrick Allen, director of the health authority, said in a statement.
“When health care costs grow faster than income and the cost of living, they squeeze the budgets of families and businesses and reduce access to care.
He said it’s important for Oregonians to understand how costs are growing and why as part of the agency’s mission to contain them.
Hospital costs continue to account for the highest share of spending, followed by provider and other services. Pharmaceutical costs accounted for the sharpest rise along with emergency care, which accounts for the smallest share of the overall bill the average Oregonian pays a year – $6,713 in 2019.
The report does not consider costs since the pandemic hit in early 2020 but did say Covid will continue to affect costs in the future.
“We don’t know how much or to what extent,” the report said. “Some experts predict savings from fewer patient visits and postponed services, while others predict cost increases from Covid hospitalizations and costs for testing, vaccines and future treatments. … Provider closures, workforce shortages, premium rebate requirements and the amount of pent-up demand that might drive future health care spending also create uncertainty.”
by Lynne Terry, Oregon Capital Chronicle
July 19, 2022
by Lynne Terry, Oregon Capital Chronicle
July 19, 2022
Oregonians are increasingly paying a bigger share of their income for health care, the latest state report on health care costs shows. 
The Oregon Health Authority said in the report, published Tuesday, that Oregonians saw an increase of nearly 50% in health care costs between 2013 and 2019. That’s an average of nearly 7% a year. In 2019, the rise dropped to 4.4%, just above the national average of 3.8%.
The state is working toward limiting the rise in health care costs a year, capping them at 3.4% for all Oregonians, whether they’re seniors on Medicare, on commercial insurance, which includes employee plans, or on Medicaid, the health care system for low-income Americans. 
Medicaid serves about 1.4 million people in Oregon, or about one-third of the state’s 4.3 million people. Medicare serves nearly 25% and the rest of the population that’s insured is on commercial plans, either through the federal marketplace or employers. 
According to the report, those on Medicare saw the biggest health care increases – nearly 60% between 2013 and 2019 – while those on commercial plans saw a 45% increase. Medicaid, which is managed in Oregon by regional insurers called coordinated care organizations, had the lowest increases over those seven years: just over 30%.
Health care costs are growing faster than wages and the economy, the report showed. It also noted that many people are struggling with out-of-pocket costs and have delayed care because of that.
“The effects of rising health costs have a direct impact on the well-being of people, families and our communities,” Patrick Allen, director of the health authority, said in a statement.
“When health care costs grow faster than income and the cost of living, they squeeze the budgets of families and businesses and reduce access to care.
He said it’s important for Oregonians to understand how costs are growing and why as part of the agency’s mission to contain them.
Hospital costs continue to account for the highest share of spending, followed by provider and other services. Pharmaceutical costs accounted for the sharpest rise along with emergency care, which accounts for the smallest share of the overall bill the average Oregonian pays a year – $6,713 in 2019.
The report does not consider costs since the pandemic hit in early 2020 but did say Covid will continue to affect costs in the future.
“We don’t know how much or to what extent,” the report said. “Some experts predict savings from fewer patient visits and postponed services, while others predict cost increases from Covid hospitalizations and costs for testing, vaccines and future treatments. … Provider closures, workforce shortages, premium rebate requirements and the amount of pent-up demand that might drive future health care spending also create uncertainty.”
Oregon Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oregon Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Lynne Terry for questions: info@oregoncapitalchronicle.com. Follow Oregon Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.
Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience, including a recent stint as editor of The Lund Report, a highly regarded health news site. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years. She has won state, regional and national awards, including a National Headliner Award for a long-term care facility story and a top award from the National Association of Health Care Journalists for an investigation into government failures to protect the public from repeated salmonella outbreaks. She loves to cook and entertain, speaks French and is learning Portuguese.
DEMOCRACY TOOLKIT
© Oregon Capital Chronicle, 2022
Oregon Capital Chronicle focuses on deep and useful reporting on Oregon state government, politics and policy. We help readers understand how those in government are using their power, what’s happening to taxpayer dollars, and how citizens can stake a bigger role in big decisions.
DEIJ Policy | Ethics Policy | Privacy Policy
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

source

Leave a Comment