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Health Care Cost Trends | Office of the Washington State Insurance Commissioner

The upward trend in health care costs has been nationally well-documented (PDF, 586.05 KB). To gain state-specific insight, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner contracted Onpoint Health Data to analyze health care cost trends in Washington State, examining both the use of health care services and the price of these services.

Onpoint used complaints data from the Washington State All Payers Database (WA-APCD) (www.wahealthcarecompare.com) to create a dashboard of health care cost trends. The WA-APCD was created to improve transparency of healthcare costs and utilization and to support and inform healthcare policy decisions. It contains claims from more than 50 commercial health care payers, as well as Medicaid and Medicare programs. This analysis only used trade claims.

The Healthcare Costs Dashboard includes analysis of claims for inpatient, outpatient, healthcare professional and prescription drug expenses, with additional analysis of types of inpatient services, mental health services and ambulance services. Complaints data includes:

  • Individual, small group, and large group health plans, including plans sold by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange as well as public employee health benefit plans
  • Members aged 0 to 64
  • Claims paid during the calendar years 2016-2019
  • Services Received by Washington State Residents
  • Total costs paid by both health plan and consumer payments for services
  • Claims with a first service date between January 1 and December 31 for 2016-2019
  • Claims for enrollees eligible for both drug and medical coverage from 2016 to 2019
  • Enrolled in groups where the majority of care is paid for on a fee-for-service basis (without capitalization)

The results of the cost trend analysis are detailed in an interactive dashboard below where you can explore usage and price trends across various service categories from 2016 to 2019. Additional details on the methodology of analysis are included in the “Methods” tab at the bottom of the dashboard.

Washington State Health Care Cost Trends Interactive Dashboard (public.tableau.com)