Oregon & Washington | Winter | 2009 | Health Plan Analysis

Changes in Oregon's regulation of small-group health plans are causing major fluctuations in rates for some groups, and creating opportunities for companies willing to respond to the new realities of the market. The economic downturn is also having its effects in all segments of the healthcare business, as companies lay off workers, close up shop, struggle to find plans they can afford, and as providers cope with a surge in the numbers of uninsured, and those who can't afford high copays and deductibles.

CareOregon's medical home initiative has no bottom-line ROI numbers yet, but the initial anecdotal results are promising. Washington's high-risk pool is beefing up its wellness/prevention focus in order to reduce costs.

Regional and national health plans are trying different methods of managing depression, with varying results.