Also of note, thanks to fewer patients coming through the doors and the erratic predictability of reimbursements ratings agencies are more inclined to give hospitals lower investor ratings.
If a possibly lower investor rating and declining hospital admissions aren’t enough to grab your attention, perhaps data released in the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index will be.
According to the report, the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by private insurance and Medicare programs rose 7.32% over the 12 months ending August 2010. Hospital and physician claims for patients covered under commercial health plans were the hardest hit, as claim costs associated with commercial health plans rose 8.66% while Medicare claim costs for services rendered by hospitals and physicians rose the least at 5.08%.
That’s a pretty large and steady increase for an industry that’s supposed to be tightening its belt. Now if you consider that the average consumer will receive a 2%-3% raise this year (if they’re lucky), then you can see that the numbers aren’t showing a bright financial future for patients or providers.
With the current rate of per capita cost of services rising by more than double what consumers will see as increases in their own paycheck, patients simply will not be able to afford to pay their share for care much longer. That’s an equation that isn’t healthy for anyone’s bottom line.