Column: How a 100-year-old commitment drives future economic growth

Long-term economic development depends on a steadfast commitment rooted in investments in innovation, infrastructure and community.

As a 100-year-old homegrown company, Cambia Health Solutions learned what it takes to persevere in a turbulent industry while upholding our mission to deliver person-centric health care in an economically sustainable way. The success of any such commitment requires a long view, and 100 years is just a start.

We live in a region and in a time when technology breakthroughs make headlines every day. New smartphones often grab more attention than medical advances, but at Cambia we understand that health care and technology go hand-in-hand.

Cambia has continually evolved in transforming health care, a 100-year old startup of sorts. To continue our evolution, we must partner with the tech visionaries who bring fresh perspectives to health care, an industry that’s notoriously slow and complex. Through investments and collaborations with digital startups, we have delivered more consumer-focused and convenient care.

One such collaboration is between Cambia and HealthSparq, a first-of-its-kind platform that enables consumers to comparison shop for health services online. While consumers are used to such shopping for TVs and travel, there is limited access to information on the costs of health services. There are no health care equivalents to Amazon, Yelp or Expedia.

Born of Cambia’s regional health plans and developed with real-world, claims-based data, HealthSparq increases pricing transparency by empowering people to understand cost and quality as they make health care decisions. People’s health insurance information is also loaded into the system to make sure they know the out-of-pocket costs instantly.

Through Cambia’s commitment and investment, HealthSparq became a wholly owned subsidiary and now offers its cost transparency tools to more than 70 health plans and their 74 million members.

Our region is among the nation’s leading health care innovation hubs, and we’re proud of our role in its economic development and prosperity.

Cambia supported $1.2 billion in economic activity and directly employed 5,584 people in our home states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah last year. The company also spent $474.5 million at businesses and organizations in the four states. As a tax-paying nonprofit, Cambia paid $50.4 million to local and state governments and more than $150 million federally.

Cambia’s culture is marked by a passion for doing good. In 2016, our employees volunteered 8,441 hours in the community and the company donated $10.3 million to nonprofits, foundations and charities in our four states. These contributions support the people and services that keep our communities healthy.

Demonstrating genuine commitment requires thoughtful contributions of time, talent and money. We’re proud of the progress we’ve made in driving economic growth in the region.

A century ago, Cambia’s founders embarked on a mission to improve the health of their communities.

Today, our commitment stands strong as we continue our work in transforming health care to be more person-centric and economically sustainable for our families, customers, partners and neighbors.

Sean Robbins is the Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy at Cambia Health Solutions. Sean leads Cambia’s regulatory and legislative strategies at a national and state level, helping Cambia navigate the evolving role of government in the delivery and payment of health care. In a dynamically shifting landscape, his teams work to educate communities about how governmental actions impact consumer-centered health care experiences, articulate Cambia’s point of view on policies that affect our business model, and work collaboratively with partners throughout the company to make Cambia’s voice heard on legislative and policy issues.