Healthcare Price Growth Hits 20-Year Low

This past May, healthcare prices were only 1 percent higher compared with May 2012 — the lowest growth year-over-year growth rate recorded since January 1990, according to a report from the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

Hospital prices during that period grew 1.8 percent, whereas physician and clinical service prices did not grow at all.

National health expenditures grew 4.2 percent in May 2013 compared with May 2012, a slight increase from the past three years. Altarum analysts also said seasonally adjusted NHE, or the total amount spent on healthcare between May 2012 and May 2013, totaled roughly $2.91 trillion.

"Preliminary data for May that show an uptick in health spending, cou¬pled with historically low price growth, imply rising per capita utiliza¬tion growth," according to the Altarum report. "Nevertheless, only weak evidence shows that the era of extremely low utilization growth is ending."

More Articles on the Healthcare Economy:
Growth in Healthcare Prices, Costs, Jobs at a Crawl
Hospital Consumer Prices Increase 0.4% in March
Healthcare Accounts for 1 in 9 U.S. Jobs, an All-Time High

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