Health insurers in Oregon and Washington are trying to meet demand for more cost-effective products as the economy struggles and healthcare costs rise. In Washington, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois won a lucrative employer contract from Boeing, whose previous insurer was Regence BlueShield. In Oregon, state officials are in the beginning stages of transforming the state's Medicaid program, while in Washington, the State Hospital Association has sued the state because of a disagreement over hospital taxes being diverted to the general fund instead of Medicaid. Also in Washington, the governor signed legislation that requires insurers to cover oral oncology drugs at a rate that is comparable to injected or intravenous oncology drugs. Health plans across the region are using medical home projects to help coordinate care, improve healthcare outcomes and decrease costs.

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