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S&P: Healthcare Costs Growth Slowing

Jeff Elliott, for HealthLeaders Media, December 20, 2010

According to the indices S&P tracks, professional services care costs continued to outpace hospital costs. "Comparing the 12-months-to-October with the 12-months-to-September, the Hospital Medicare Index showed the most moderation in costs, up 3.33% versus 3.96% reported for September, while the Professional Services Medicare Index showed the slightest decrease in the growth of expenditures, up 5.13% versus 5.41% in September," Blitzer said. "Both the Hospital and Professional Services Commercial Indices' annual rates decelerated by about 0.3% in October."

The statistics are based on the S&P Healthcare Economic Indices that estimate the per capita change in revenue each month by hospitals and professional service organizations for healthcare services delivered to patients covered by Medicare and commercial health insurance plans. Annual growth rates are calculated with the percent change in monthly index levels based on a 12-month moving average.

Based on recent trends, S&P expects healthcare costs to continue their significant month-to-month variations well into the future, according to Blitzer. "Looking over recent years, there are periods when the increases moderate as well as times when increases accelerate."

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1 comments on "S&P: Healthcare Costs Growth Slowing"


barium (12/20/2010 at 11:23 AM)
DRINKING THE KOOL-AID. With all due respect, Jeff doesn't seem to get it. So 6.07% is good because it's a slower rate than the 8.4% earlier pace? This at as time when the overall inflation rate in America was -0.4% last year and 1.7% through October? What? The headlines should have screamed, "HEALTHCARE COSTS CONTINUE TO RISE AT OVER 3-1/2 TIMES INFLATION RATE. So let's put down the Kool-Aid, repeat the mantra, "It's the cost of care, stupid!" and recognize that we are spending too much on medical care!