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One Utah Health Collaborative announces first ever statewide study of healthcare spending growth and cost drivers

Salt Lake City—Today, the One Utah Health Collaborative (the Collaborative) announced the formation of a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) including nine different major insurers that will collaborate and provide data to estimate Utah’s total healthcare spending baseline and trends. The TAG members and respective organizations represent more than 95% of insured Utahns. 

“Healthcare spending is rising and continues to take up a larger proportion of state, employer and family budgets,” said Dr. Sri Bose, the Collaborative’s director of research. “The average annual family premium employee contribution in Utah increased by 35% from 2017 to 2022 while average hourly wages only increased by 25%. For Utah’s employers, families and economy to thrive, we need to measure spending and its trends to ensure we have a sustainable and affordable healthcare system for all.” 

“Not only is understanding the rate of healthcare spending growth critical, but to change its course we also need to understand what is driving costs at a statewide level,” said Jaime Wissler, the Collaborative’s executive director. “We will evaluate and analyze this and additional data with our stakeholders to better achieve our mission of affordable and accessible healthcare that improves the quality of life for all. This work will help identify what we can best work on together. We are grateful for the incredible support and involvement.”

“It is important to collect data statewide on what is being provided in healthcare so we can do cost benchmarking and call out hotspots,” said Utah Rep. Norm Thurston, Executive Director at National Association of Health Data Organizations (NAHDO) during a conference earlier this month. “We are appreciative of DHHS and the One Utah Health Collaborative, who are ensuring we watch what is happening in our state. Without this comparative analysis, we won’t make change. We need to bring together our data to tell the full story.” 

Participating insurers include:
Aetna/CVS Health
Cigna
Molina Healthcare of Utah
Public Employment Health Plan (PEHP)
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
Select Health
UnitedHealthcare (UHC)
Utah Medicaid
University of Utah Health Plans

Why did the Collaborative form a Technical Advisory Group (TAG)? 
The TAG is a subset of the Collaborative’s Healthcare Spending Task Force launched last year. The Task Force, along with the Stakeholder Community Board, determined collecting data statewide and conducting analysis would (1) establish a healthcare spending baseline, (2) analyze the state’s total healthcare expenditures, and (3) identify trends in spending growth. Data collection and validation will take place in spring and summer of 2024. A report will be released in 2024 at both a state and market level.   

What is the One Utah Health Collaborative?
In 2022, Gov. Spencer Cox launched the One Utah Health Collaborative (the Collaborative) a community-owned 501c3 nonprofit aimed at improving the trajectory of healthcare in the state. Gov. Cox recognized reducing the growth of healthcare spending does not occur in an election cycle and set up a 15-year initiative to ensure Utah has a high-quality, affordable, and sustainable healthcare system. The Collaborative will achieve this through collaboration and innovation and envisions developing a model healthcare system for Utah using a consensus-based approach with key leaders from the healthcare community. To get involved visit uthealthcollaborative.org.

For more information contact:
Kelsey Koenen Witt
Director of Communications and Marketing
One Utah Health Collaborative
[email protected]
(c) 801-497-1562