Health care costs vary nationwide and Oregon ranks higher than other regions

February 8, 2017

shutterstock_64541557Oregonians paid more to see a doctor in 2014 than patients in other parts of the country.

Overall, Oregon health care prices were 17 percent above average, according to a report by the Network for Regional Healthcare Improvement, a national network working to improve health care.

Analysts looked at claims data from five regions – Oregon, Utah, Maryland, St. Louis and Minnesota – and identified a $1,080 annual difference in spending per member.

In Oregon, the Oregon Health Care Quality Corp., or Q Corp., collected 2014 claims data from seven health plans and found the risk-adjusted spending per member per month was $354. That was second only to Minnesota, which totaled $369. Utah was No. 3 at $348; St. Louis ($290) and Maryland ($279) followed.

Researchers said the study was the first of its kind and yielded critical comparisons.

“I believe that we can’t, as a state or as a country, deal with the issue of cost until we have the information to understand it well and have the common language to look at it together,” Mylia Christensen, executive director of Q Corp. told the Portland Business Journal.

Read more about medical cost inflation in Oregon from a Voices special report. How have you and your family been affected by health care costs? Share your story.