S&P: US Healthcare Costs Up 6% in 2010, But Growth Slowing

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , February 18, 2011

The S&P indices estimate the per capita change in revenues accrued each month by hospital and professional services facilities for services provided to patients covered under traditional Medicare and commercial health insurance programs. The annual growth rates are determined by calculating a percent change of the 12-month moving averages of the monthly index levels versus the same month of the prior year.

“The year 2010 was highlighted by a trend of deceleration in annual growth rates for all three headline indices – the Composite, the Medicare and the Commercial Indices. Especially since May 2010, most of the indices annual growth rates have declined month-to-month,” Blitzer says. “The S&P Healthcare Economic Hospital and Professional Services Indices also show a similar moderation in the rate of increase of annual growth rates, posting +5.60% and +6.34% rates for December 2010, respectively, versus May 2010 prints of +7.99% and +9.33%, respectively.”

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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