Bill Would Make It Easier To Compare Health Plans

A bill that would make it easier to compare health insurance plans has made it out of an Oregon Senate committee.

Oregon's current health care experiment measures performance in many ways — like what percentage of health records are computerized or how many patients get a follow up visit after a hospital stay.

Such metrics it makes it easier to compare the quality of health plans, but they're only used by Oregon's Medicaid system.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, says Senate Bill 440 would require everyone to use the same metrics.

"Different insurance companies have held providers accountable to different metrics," she said. "And for primary care providers, it's really tough when you have patients who are covered by multiple different types of insurance, to make sure that you're meeting the metrics from different insurance carriers and Medicaid at the same time."

Passage of the bill is far from assured. Proposed changes are expensive for insurance companies, hospitals and clinics.

A spokeswoman from Gov. Kate Brown's office says she will review it once it reaches her desk.

The bill now moves to the House.

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