Technology
e-Newsletter
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Healthcare Cost Growth Deceleration Continues

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, June 17, 2011

The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare grew 5.39% over the 12 months ending in April 2011, continuing an 11-month deceleration of cost growth, Standard & Poor's Healthcare Economic Indices show.

April's results represent the lowest cost growth in the six-year history of the S&P measure, and reflect a continuing deceleration in Composite healthcare cost growth from the +5.77% annual growth in March, +6.17% in February, and +6.31% in January 2011 for the composite index, S&P said.

"Historically, there has been a general pattern of healthcare trends declining on a lagged basis following economic downturns. Much of our spending on healthcare is related to supply-side factors – in particular, the supply of new technology and procedures," David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's, said in the report. "It takes considerable time for investments in healthcare to translate into increased supply and, conversely, reduced investments often result in a reduction in trend a few years later. The decline in index growth rates that began in mid-2010 may be a result of trends slowing due to reduced capital spending during the recession that began in 2007."

Even with the deceleration, healthcare costs grew at nearly double the 3.2% growth in overall inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the same 12-month period ending in April, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

A further breakdown of S&P's indices show that, over the 12 months ending April, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance rose +7.13%, down from +7.57% for the 12-month period ending in March, as measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index. Medicare claim costs rose at an annual rate of +2.48%, for the 12-month period ending in April, down from of +2.78% for March, as measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index. This is also the lowest annual rate of growth posted for the Medicare Index in its six-year history, S&P said.

Comments are moderated. Please be patient.

1 comments on "Healthcare Cost Growth Deceleration Continues"


iwan (6/18/2011 at 7:04 PM)
good information, can not wait to read it.