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Report using private health claims data shows prices are driving health spending growth
Date:5/20/2012

e spending in the United States," says HCCI Governing Board Chairman Martin Gaynor, PhD, E.J. Barone Professor of Economics and Health Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. "Health care spending is a critical problemit's not an exaggeration to say that if we solve the health care spending problem we solve our fiscal problems."

A More Complete Picture of Spending

The report examines trends in inpatient and outpatient care, professional services, and prescription drugs by the privately insured. HCCI looked at per capita spending, prices paid per service, out-of-pocket spending, utilization, and the mix or intensity of services used.

HCCI determined per capita spending on health care services averaged $4,255 in 2010, a 3.3 percent increase from 2009. Per capita expenditures varied, with $8,327 paid for people aged 55-64, and $2,123 for people under 18 in 2010. Per capita spending among the youngest cohort people 18 and under grew faster than any other age group under age 65. Overall health spending among the estimated 156.5 million people with employer-sponsored group insurance increased, rising 2.5 percent to $666.1 billion, consistent with recent reports on health spending.

"HCCI's unprecedented effort to drill down into the underlying drivers of costs will help set the country on a more sustainable economic path," says Bradley Smith, President of the Society of Actuaries. "This report will be a great help to the work we do to analyze and estimate the true drivers of health care spending."

HCCI was launched in September 2011 as a nonprofit entity with a public mission of making these data available for research. HCCI has produced the first comprehensive picture of health care spending for the privately insured. The 2011 update of the current report will be available in fall 2012, making it one of the earliest available assessments of health care spending in 2011.

"We hope this report will help peo
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Contact: Janet Firshein
jfirshein@burnesscommunications.com
301-652-1558
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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