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Healthcare Costs Hit Record High, But Growth Rate Slows

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 24, 2013

The MMI is comprised of five components: physician and other professional services, inpatient facility care costs, outpatient facility care costs, pharmacy, and miscellaneous other.

Among the report findings:

  • Physician and other professional services account for 32% or $6,990 of annual healthcare spending. The 5.2% increase from 2012 is attributed to increased utilization and charge increases.
  • Inpatient facility care costs account for $6,855, or 31%, of the family's annual healthcare bill. The annual increase was 5%. Although the number of hospital inpatient days actually declined, increased labor costs, increased liability costs, and new technologies all contributed to the increase.
  • Outpatient facility care costs are 18% or $4,037 of total annual costs. This category scored a hefty increase, 9.2%, over 2012. That probably reflects increased utilization as inpatient services shift to outpatient facilities.
  • Pharmacy costs totaled $3,296 or 15% of the family's healthcare expenditures. The 7.9% increase is in line with 2010 and 2008 increases. A continued shift to generics was offset by increased utilization of high-priced specialty drugs (typically more than $600 for a 30-day supply).
  • Miscellaneous other costs such as durable medical equipment, ambulance services, and home health posted a 7% increase to $851.

Citing concerns about how its numbers were used, Milliman no longer includes comparative healthcare data for 14 cities in this report.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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