A new report published by the Oregon Health Authority shows a growing number of people are postponing care due to health care affordability. According to OHA, health care spending increased for all markets in the state between 2018 and 2019.

The data was collected through Sustainable Health Care Cost Growth Target Program, which was created to prevent health care costs from growing faster than wages, inflation and other economic factors.

OHA says the COVID-19 pandemic caused spending to fall in many categories between 2019 and 2020, but growth in the commercial market surpassed Medicaid or Medicare spending. Additionally, retail pharmacy spending consistently increased by more than 3%, making it one of the main factors for healthcare spending growth in Oregon.

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According to OHA, in 2020, households spent about 23% of their income on health care costs.

There are multiple contributors to the total cost of care, including:

• Low-value services

• Waste

• New technology

• Administration requirements

But the largest cause for projected cost growth is rising prices.

The report also found health care spending increased between 2018 and 2019, but fell between 2019 and 2020 because fewer people sought medical care during the early stages of the pandemic.

According to the findings, more than 15% of Oregonians reported delaying care because it was too expensive in 2019. Among respondents, those who are uninsured were the most likely to postpone care.

The report also found that 1 in 4 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Oregonians and those reporting other race said they delayed care because of costs.

Dave Baden, OHA’s interim director, said the findings provide insight into what's driving health care costs in the state. “With this data, OHA, policymakers and health system providers have an opportunity to come together to address growing affordability concerns across public and private markets,” Baden added.

A public hearing will be held on May 17 to further review the findings from these reports.

You can find more information on the Oregon Health Authority website.

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(1) comment

Free Thinker

The democrats would rather spend health care taxpayer money on illegal aliens than Oregon citizens.

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