Transparency and technology tools mean big savings for Oregonians

July 20, 2016
Infographic Healthsparq Oregon
By Angela Dowling, President, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon

Oregonians could be saving an average of $1100 or more per year by taking advantage of health care shopping and technology tools.

This new finding comes courtesy of HealthSparq. The Portland-based health care startup recently examined claims data for Regence members throughout the state. They found that of the total $1.1 billion spent annually, 11.7 percent (approximately $130 million) could be eliminated using transparency and technology tools. These findings are particularly relevant given that Americans now cite health care costs as their most pressing financial concerning according to an April 2016 Gallup poll.

HealthSparq identified the biggest area of potential savings stemming from encouraging consumers to search for providers based on cost and quality ratings. Showing individuals their full array of providers and specialists options, along with the corresponding out-of-pocket costs, could save an average of $44 per month.  

Close behind is helping employees understand and utilize telehealth options. Savings of $38 per month can be achieved by utilizing telehealth providers as opposed to making a physical trip to urgent care or a primary care doctor. Additional savings that make up the cumulative $92 per employee, per month figure include prescription drug spending alternatives and avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits.

As employer-sponsored health care continues to evolve, providing access and exposure to transparency tools is becoming critically important to help employers and employees contain costs. That’s why every Regence customer has access to HealthSparq’s tools to help them shop, compare, and budget for health care expenses. Members can visit regence.com to view the “treatment cost estimator” tool for yourselves and start saving on care.

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