State News

Wisconsin | May 16, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Wisconsin Private Insurers Pay 5th Highest Rates in the Country

Wisconsin’s hospital prices are 5th highest in the country, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.
The study found that Wisconsin employers and employees paid over three times (318%) what
Medicare pays for the same service from 2020 to 2022, above the national average of 254
percent. However, he data used in the report is volunteered by employers and insurance
providers and does not capture all outpatient visits and discharges in the state.

Connecticut | May 15, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Report: Health Care Costs in Connecticut Increased Annually Over Two Decades

Health care costs in Connecticut have risen 4.8 percent annually over the past two decades,
reports the Hartford Business Journal. The Office of Health Strategy Cost Growth Benchmark
released a report, which found that the increase exceeds inflation and wage growth, putting
financial pressure on residents and businesses. The average family premium for employer-
sponsored coverage nearly tripled over the last two decades, rising from $8,781 in 2001 to
$24,746 in 2022.

Indiana | May 14, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Report Finds Indiana Hospital Prices 8th Highest in the Nation

A national study found that Indiana’s hospital prices are 8th highest in the country, reports WFYI
. The study found that Indiana employers and employees paid nearly three times
what Medicare pays for the same services from 2020 to 2022, above the national average of
254 percent. The study also found that Indiana had the fifth highest prices for medication like
chemotherapy and other infusion medications given by physicians in outpatient hospital
settings. The data used in the RAND report is volunteered by employers and insurance
providers and does not capture all outpatient visits and discharges in the state.

Rhode Island | May 13, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Report: Increased Health Care Spending Following COVID Decline

Health care spending in Rhode Island increased post-COVID but is now stabilizing, reports the
Rhode Island Current. A report from the Office of Health Insurance Commissioner found health
care spending in 2022 increased 1.6 percent from 2021, about half the rate of increase in the
prior year. The report highlights concerns over escalating pharmaceutical costs and emphasizes
the shift towards outpatient services: inpatient spending decreased by 5.4 percent while
outpatient costs rose by 4.4 percent.

California | May 8, 2024 | Blog | Health Costs

California Sets Health Care Cost Growth Target

California’s Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) has set a 3.5 percent cap on health care
spending growth, according to JD Supra. The cap starts in 2025 and will decrease to 3.0
percent by 2029. The cap will apply to health care entities including hospitals, facilities,
outpatient clinics, large physician groups, and labs, as well as payors and fully integrated
delivery systems. Starting in 2026, the OHCA will have authority to take enforcement action
against facilities that exceed the target, including requiring explanation in public meetings,
performance improvement plans, and/or financial penalties.

Oregon | May 2, 2024 | Report | Health Costs

Oregonians Pay More for Care as Employers Push High-Deductible Plans

Oregonians with commercial and Medicare Advantage health insurance paid an average of 31.9
percent more in health insurance deductibles between 2015 and 2022, according to a newly
released report delving into rising health care costs, reports the Lund Report. Moreover, the
study by the Oregon Health Authority premiums for both family and single plans rose by about
20 percent during the same period. About half of Oregon households have commercial
insurance, with most (92.7%) through an employer; from 2015 to 2022, the proportion of
employer-sponsored plans defined as high-deductible plans grew from about a third to more
than a half.

Oregon | Apr 23, 2024 | Report | Equity

Oregon Performs Better in Health Equity, but Disparities Remain

Oregon’s health system performance tends to be better in some measures than most states,
however, there are still major problems, reports The Lund Report. A report from the
Commonwealth Fund
compiled data on 25 health care measures tracking outcomes, quality,
access and use of services by five different racial and ethnic groups. The rate of preventable
deaths under age 75 for Black Oregonians is approximately double that of white Oregonians;
the proportion of people who reported skipping needed health care due to cost was 7 percent
for white people, but double that or more for people who are Black, Hispanic or American Indian
and Alaska Native. the findings for Oregon call for making health care more affordable, while
also focusing on strengthening the state’s provision of primary care.

Arkansas | Apr 23, 2024 | Report | Population Health

Maternal Health Initiative Launches in Arkansas

Arkansas’ governor has launched a new initiative to tackle the state’s maternal health crisis,
reports Little Rock Public Radio. The strategic committee plans to implement a multi-faceted line
of attack concentrating on education, access, coordination, and overall improvements to the
state’s maternal health services. Key initiatives outlined by the committee include advertising
and awareness campaigns, grants and funding opportunities, and the creation of a pilot program
pointed at counties with low rates of prenatal care.

Alabama | Apr 22, 2024 | Report | Equity

Alabama Has Poor Health System Performance, Stark Health Care Disparities

A new report finds Alabama has some of the most severe disparities in health care outcomes
among racial groups, reports the Alabama Reflector. The Commonwealth Fund report revealed
Alabama only performed better than Tennessee, Kentucky, Wyoming, Arkansas, Oklahoma and
West Virginia. While white Alabamians have better health outcomes than Black or Hispanic
Alabamians, they trail health outcomes for white Americans overall. The starkest disparity is
seen in infant mortality rates: white infant mortality reached an all-time low in 2021, while Black
infant mortality tripled. The report assessed 25 metrics of care delivery and outcomes, including
health indicators, care accessibility, and quality and utilization of services.

Texas | Apr 21, 2024 | News Story | Equity

Study Finds Hispanic and Black Residents in Texas Have Poorer Health Than Those in Other States

A report shows that Hispanic and Black Texans experience greater inequities in health care
compared to Hispanic and Black people living in other states, according to the Metro News.
According to The Commonwealth Fund 2024 State Health Disparities Report, Texas ranked 44th
out of 47th in health care system performance for Hispanic people, and ranked 32nd out of 39
states calculated for health system performance for Black residents. The researchers noted that
the U.S. Hispanic population is highly diverse, and health care access and outcomes can vary,
particularly by immigration status.