S&P: Healthcare Costs Up 5.73% in 12-Months Ended August 2011

The average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.73 percent over the 12-months ending August 2011, according to data released today by S&P Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index.

This is a marginal increase over the 5.69 percent annual growth rate posted in July 2011 and the fourth consecutive increase since the index hit its lowest annual growth rate of 5.32 percent in April 2011. Other notable findings include the following:

•    Healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance increased by 7.89 percent over the year ending August 2011, also increasing for the fourth consecutive month.
•    Medicare claim costs, however, hit a new low, rising at an annual rate of 2.16 percent. Medicare's annual growth rate has consistently and sharply decelerated since Nov. 2009.
•    The Hospital and Professional Services Indices posted increases of 5.43 percent and 5.84 percent, respectively, from their August 2010 levels. These are minor changes from annual rates posted in July 2011.

Related Articles on Healthcare Costs:

California Trade Group Urges Business Leaders to Tackle Healthcare Costs
Debt Reduction Committee Receives More Than 175k Recommendations So Far; Gang of Six Plan Reconsidered
Cleveland Clinic Keeps Employee Healthcare Costs Down Through Wellness Efforts

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