HCCI: Providers' rising prices main driver behind 4.6% spending growth

A new report from the Health Care Cost Institute attributed a 4.6 percent growth in healthcare spending to providers increasing their list prices for services.

"The combination of people using more healthcare services and the faster growth in prices pushed up spending, with prices playing the bigger role," said HCCI Senior Researcher Amanda Frost, PhD, in a statement.

The 2015 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report covers healthcare cost and utilization trends for Americans younger than age 65 and covered by employer-sponsored insurance between 2012 and 2015. It includes data from four national health insurance companies: Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare.

Here are five study findings.

1. In 2015, spending per capita for the ESI population grew by 4.6 percent year over year, to $5,141 per person. This rate of growth was greater than the growth rate in 2014 (2.6 percent) and in 2013 (3 percent).

2. Individuals spent $813 out-of-pocket on average for healthcare services in 2015.

3. Per capita out-of-pocket spending grew by 3 percent in 2015.

4. In each year studied, per capita out-of-pocket spending grew at slower rates than did total per capita spending. The proportion of total spending consumers paid out-of-pocket rose slightly from 16.1 percent in 2012 to 16.2 percent in 2014. In 2015, the proportion of out-of-pocket spending compared to total per capita spending declined slightly to 15.8 percent.

5. In 2015, per capita utilization of outpatient services and professional services rose 1.5 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

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