Annual Growth Rates in Healthcare Costs Decelerate: S&P
Jan. 17 — The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.07 percent over the 12-month period ending in November 2012, according to data released on Jan. 17 by the S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index. This is a deceleration from the 5.27 percent annual growth rate recorded in October 2012.
Eight out of nine S&P healthcare indices, including the Hospital Index, posted decelerations in their annual growth rates in November.
“With November data, we observe that the growth rate in the Hospital Index has decelerated for seven consecutive months, from a recent high of +5.75 percent in April 2012 to its historic low of +3.57 percent, posted in November,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P. “This downward trend was driven by a deceleration in hospital commercial plans. The +4.26 percent annual rate in November for Hospital Commercial Index is 0.53 percentage points below the +4.79 percent rate recorded in October and 4.47 percentage points below the 8.73 percent annual rate recorded in April 2012. The only index that showed acceleration in November was the Hospital Medicare Index; it posted +2.61 percent this month, 0.07 percentage points above its October rate.”
The S&P Healthcare Economic 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 in the United States. 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.
Publication Date: Thursday, January 17, 2013