Hospital Costs Up 8.2%, Healthcare Inflation Hits 6.3%

John Commins, November 12, 2010

The cost of healthcare for people with employer-sponsored health insurance climbed 6.3% for the fiscal year ending June 30, with hospital costs outpacing other healthcare-related cost, Thomson Reuters reports.

The Thomson Reuters Healthcare Spending Index for Private Insurance measures historical and current levels of per capita healthcare spending for individuals whose coverage is provided by self-insured employers — about 25% of U.S. healthcare expenditures.

"The index is accurate and detailed because it's based on the healthcare utilization of millions of Americans," said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healtchare Analytics, in Ann Arbor, MI. "That allows us to report on cost trends overall and for key components — hospitals, physicians, drugs, and patients' out-of-pocket costs."

Spending for hospital care has increased faster than spending on physician services or prescription medicines in the past year. Hospital costs increased 8.2%, physician costs increased 5.5%, and drug costs increased 3.4%.

Index estimates are based on Thomson Reuters databases of healthcare claims for inpatient and outpatient services. The 2009-10 index represents the real-world treatment patterns and costs of more than 12 million employees and their dependents, Thomson Reuters said.

See Also:
Medical Inflation on Intercept Trajectory with Wage Earners

Healthcare Costs Soar Above Overall Inflation

No End In Sight to Rising Healthcare Costs

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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