What is driving the cost of health care?

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013

Aging population

Let’s face it: We’re getting old. In 2011, 14.3% of Oregonians were 65 years of age and older, up from 12.8% in 2001, according to the Census Bureau. This ranked Oregon 15th among the 50 states, higher than the U.S. overall at 13.3%. Percentages are much higher in southern and coastal areas that have attracted many retirees. For example, Josephine and Curry counties had 23.0% and 28.3%, respectively, of residents 65 and older. And as baby boomers continue to age into this demographic it will continue to swell.

This population creates a strong demand for health care. Most of its services are paid for by Medicare, which the OAHHS shows surpassed private insurance within the last few years to become the biggest patient revenue source at more than 40%, though Medicare beneficiaries represent only 17% of Oregon’s 2011 population, and the state ranked 46th for per capita Medicare billings at $13,752. Oregon also had the lowest nursing facility occupancy rate in the nation in 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As the state and nation get grayer, they’ll need more medical facilities and workers. Health care jobs have already outstripped the private sector overall, growing 64% in the last 20 years. The sector likewise grew from 6.3% of the state’s gross domestic product in 2006 to 6.9% in 2009. This requires huge investment in infrastructure and human capital, yet does not make products for export or generate new income. Instead it often bankrupts sick residents, devours government subsidies and hobbles the state with a population that consumes services but does not produce taxable income. Getting old is no fun.

0513 Data Facts 03

SOURCES: OREGON INSURANCE DIVISION: OAHHS, KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION

0513 Data Graph 01

SOURCE: OREGON EMPLOYMENT DEPT.

 



 

More Articles

No Boundaries

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Floor plans embrace the great wide open.


Read more...

Intrepid reporter checks out ZoomCare rebrand

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
dentistthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes. 


Read more...

Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake

The Latest
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
htctthumb1BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An earthquake would completely destroy many Oregon businesses, highlighting the urgent need for the private and public sectors to collaborate on shoring up disaster preparedness, said panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast summit today.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

As momentum grows at the state level to introduce far-reaching environmental regulations, such as carbon pricing and the Clean Fuels Program, Oregon employers continue to go the extra mile to create green workplaces for their employees.


Read more...

Efficiency Boost

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

How conservation stimulates the local economy.


Read more...

100 Best Green Workplaces announced

News
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
OBM-100-best-Green-logo-2015-1000pxwBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

More than 250 people turned out today for Oregon Business magazine’s seventh annual celebration of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in Oregon.


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS