Regulators in the Beaver State are trying to jump start efforts to help consumers determine how much medical care will cost.
Staff members of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services are working with large businesses, insurers, hospitals and consumer groups to collect and publish data on the discounted rates that insurers actually pay for hospital care.
The department is developing the database of discounted prices because of concerns that few patients actually pay the full prices that hospitals put on bills.
“For an insured patient,” officials write, “the relevant charge data is the discounted rate that the patient’s insurance company has negotiated with each hospital.”
Department officials described the “actual cost of care” database project in a draft report on the Oregon health insurance market.
The sector of the private health insurance market regulated by the state is highly competitive, and most of the large carriers appear to be profitable, officials write in the report.