HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care industry intelligence, finds that the sharp decline in HMO membership in Oregon and Washington is slowing, while PPO growth is not as dramatic as in previous years.

According to the latest issue of the Oregon & Washington Health Plan Analysis from HealthLeaders-InterStudy, HMOs' share of the commercial market declined from 42.6% in January 2003 to 32.3% in January 2004, but dropped just a few percentage points to 28.9% by mid-2004. HMOs' market share went through an almost identical progression in Washington during the same period.

"HMOs have been evolving to include fewer restrictions, making them more attractive to consumers. As a result, the mix of HMO and PPO membership is stabilizing," said Micaela Brown, HealthLeaders-InterStudy analyst. "At the same time, employers are looking for gatekeeper features like utilization and care management."

  Other Health Plan News in Oregon and Washington:    * Washington and Oregon plans that have initiated pay-for-performance      plans for physicians are reporting good cooperation and little pushback      from the doctors involved.    * Oregon's Insurance Pool Governing Board has created two new health      plans aimed at small businesses that have previously been unable to      afford health insurance for their employees.    * Despite the heated partisanship in the Washington legislature, both      Democrats and Republicans are sponsoring "pay-or-play" bills that would      require employers to help fund health benefits for the uninsured.    About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a newly formed company of Decision Resources, Inc. (http://www.decisionresources.com/), is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit both Web sites at http://www.healthleaders.com/ and http://www.interstudypublications.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

  For more information, contact:     Elizabeth Marshall    Decision Resources    781-296-2563    emarshall@dresources.com 

SOURCE: Decision Resources, Inc.

Contact: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,
emarshall@dresources.com

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