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Brown appoints panel to address health care costs

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced the members of a new committee tasked with controlling rising health care costs.

Posted: Oct 23, 2019 11:17 AM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced the members of a new committee tasked with controlling rising health care costs.

The Statesman Journal reports the committee — made up of government officials, union representatives and health care professionals — is responsible for creating an annual target for health care cost growth and providing recommendations to the Legislature on how to manage unreasonable costs.

Insurance companies, hospitals and health care providers will be required to stay within that growth target.

The first benchmark from the committee will be reported to the Oregon Health Policy Board for approval by Sept. 15, 2020. The committee's report will include a legislative concept for implementation and possible enforcement actions if a provider or payer exceeds that target.

"All Oregonians should have access to the health care services they need to live healthy and productive lives," Brown said in a statement. "If we do not control the rising costs of health care, too many Oregon families, particularly those in historically underserved communities, will again find the care they need is beyond their reach."

According to the Oregon Health Authority, health insurance deductibles in Oregon are the third-highest nationally. The state is also in the top 10 for percent of family budgets spent on out-of-pocket health costs.

A 3.4 percent growth rate for public programs already exists, but this new benchmark would target the private market.

It's modeled after a program in Massachusetts that has saved consumers $5.5 billion between 2013 and 2017 compared to the national average. Oregon was the fourth state to implement a spending benchmark.

It was created by the Legislature this year through Senate Bill 889, which received bipartisan support in both chambers.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

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Cases: 4812309

Reported Deaths: 70616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147679126410
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3646344163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
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