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Study finds spending on medical care rose 4.6% due in part to increased hospital spending

Posted on September 25, 2012 | No Comments

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A study recently released by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) found that health costs paid by insurers grew faster in 2011 than the previous year. The 4.6 percent growth rate for 2011 (about $4,547 per person) trumped the 2010 rate of 3.8 percent. The report cited the primary drivers of these growing health costs as the rising prices that insurers pay doctors, hospitals, and drug companies. The authors discussed that it is not clear whether the data represent a return to the higher growth rates of the past, or if the rate is anomalous in the general slowdown. The data are based on 6 billion claims paid by insurers covering approximately 40 million people. Not included in the data were spending for consumers covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or for those who buy their own coverage. The study found that consumers spent more of their own money on health care in 2011, with out-of-pocket costs averaging $735 per person.

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