June 20—The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 3.16 percent over the 12 months ending April 2013, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index, accelerating from the 3.06 percent annual growth rate recorded in March. 

Eight of the nine S&P healthcare economic indices showed higher annual growth rates for April as compared with March. For example, annual growth rates in Medicare costs increased by 1.06 percent in April, up from a 0.82 percent rate recorded the previous month. Healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans rose by 4.54 percent in April, marginally up from 4.53 percent, a recent low reported in March. 

Conversely, the hospital commercial annual growth rate hit a new low of 1.89 percent in April, marginally down from 1.90 percent recorded in March.

Publication Date: Thursday, June 20, 2013