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S&P: Annual growth rates broadly decelerate in December

February 21st, 2013

Today S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the results of S&P Economic Healthcare Indices for 2012. Data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 3.73% over the 12 months ending December 2012. This is a deceleration from the +4.46% annual growth rate recorded in November 2012 and the lowest rate in the eight-year history of the index.

All nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices posted deceleration in their annual growth rates in December 2012. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 5.39% over the year ending December 2012, down from +6.19% reported for November 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 1.20%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from +1.81% recorded in November 2012. It is the lowest growth rate in the history of the Medicare Index.

The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +4.78% in December 2012, down from the +5.68% November rate. The Professional Services Commercial Index decelerated to +7.34% in December, down from +8.17% reported in November. The Professional Services Medicare annual growth rate was -0.12% in December, down from +0.92% posted in November 2012. It is the first appearance of negative annual growth rate in the history of the index.

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S&P: Annual growth rates decelerate in November 2012

January 17th, 2013

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.07% over the 12 months ending November 2012. This is a deceleration from the +5.27% annual growth rate recorded in October 2012.

Eight out of nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices posted deceleration in their annual growth rates in November 2012. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 6.86% over the year ending November 2012, down from +7.15% reported for October 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.32%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from +2.40% recorded in October 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.49% in November 2012, down from the +6.61% October print. The Hospital Index’s growth rate hit its historic low of +3.57% in November from +3.83% recorded in October 2012. It was driven by the Hospital Commercial Index, which hit its lowest rate since the index began in January 2005 with an annual growth rate of +4.26%. It posted a +4.79% annual rate last month.

The Professional Services Commercial Index decelerated to +9.03% in November, down from +9.06% reported in October. The Professional Services Medicare annual growth rate decelerated to +1.61% in November from +1.91% posted in October 2012. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate posted +2.61% in November, up from its +2.54% October rate.

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S&P: Annual growth rates accelerated in October

December 20th, 2012

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.28% over the 12 months ending October 2012. This is an acceleration from the +5.09% annual growth rate recorded in September 2012.

Seven out of nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices posted acceleration in their annual growth rates in October 2012. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 7.16% over the year ending October 2012, up from +7.09% reported for September 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.41%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from +2.04% recorded in September 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.63% in October 2012, up from +6.16% in September 2012. The Hospital Index’s growth rate hit its seven-and-a-half year historical low of +3.83% in October from +3.86% recorded in September 2012. It was driven by the Hospital Commercial Index, which hit a new recent low with an annual growth rate of +4.78%—its lowest rate since October 2009. It posted a +5.15% annual rate last month.

The Professional Services Commercial Index accelerated to +9.08% in October, up from +8.54% reported in September. It was the highest rate since July 2008. The Professional Services Medicare annual growth rate accelerated to +1.92% in October after reaching its historical low of +1.57% in September 2012. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate posted +2.55% in October, which was up from its +2.17% September rate.

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S&P: Annual growth rates substantially decelerate in September

November 15th, 2012

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.06% over the 12 months ending September 2012. This is a deceleration from the +5.70% annual growth rate recorded in August 2012.

All nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices posted decelerations in their annual growth rates in September 2012. Professional Service Medicare and the Hospital Index posted their lowest annual rates since January 2005; additionally, the Hospital Commercial Index hit a new recent low with an annual growth rate of +5.12%—its lowest since May 2010. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 7.05% over the year ending September 2012, down from the +7.81% reported for August 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.04%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from the +2.48% recorded in August 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.13% in September 2012, down from the +6.67% August 2012 point. The Hospital Index’s growth rate fell to its seven-and-a-half year historical low of +3.84% in September from +4.54% recorded in August 2012.

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S&P: Healthcare cost increases decelerate in August

October 18th, 2012

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.70% over the 12 months ending August 2012. This is a deceleration from the +6.15% annual growth rate recorded in July 2012.

As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 7.81% over the year ending August 2012, down from the +8.36% reported for July 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.48%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from the +2.79% recorded in July 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.67% in August 2012, down from the +6.95% July 2012 print. The Hospital Index’s growth rate fell to +4.54% in August from +5.11% recorded in July 2012.

In August 2012, the Professional Services Medicare Index was up 2.36%, decelerating from its July level of 2.98%. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate in August was +2.35%, compared to its +2.44% rate in July. The Professional Services Commercial Index decelerated to +8.90% in August, from its recent high of +9.00% reported in July. The Hospital Commercial Index’s annual growth rate decelerated to +6.23% in August from the +7.21% posted for July.

“All nine healthcare indices we publish decelerated in August 2012; and the deceleration is pretty substantial compared to recent historic patterns,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “In August, the Composite Index posted an annual rate of +5.70%, the Commercial Index +7.81% and the Medicare Index +2.48%. These rates were below their respective July 2012 rates.

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S&P: Annual growth rates accelerate for seven of nine indices in July

September 20th, 2012

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 6.14% over the 12 months ending July 2012. This is an acceleration from the +5.76% annual growth rate recorded in June 2012.

As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 8.34% over the year ending July 2012, up from the +8.06% reported for June 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.79%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from the +2.27% recorded in June 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.95% in July 2012, up from the +6.05% June 2012 print. The Hospital Index’s growth rate fell to +5.09% in July from its +5.19% June annual rate.

In July 2012, the Professional Services Medicare Index was up 2.97%, accelerating from its recent low of 2.41% recorded in June. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate in July was +2.44%, compared to its +1.95% rate in June. The Professional Services Commercial Index accelerated to +8.99% in July, from +7.92% in June; and the Hospital Commercial Index’s annual growth rate decelerated to +7.18% in July from the +7.77% posted for June.

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S&P: Healthcare costs decelerated in June

August 16th, 2012

Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.78% over the 12 months ending June 2012. This is a deceleration from the +6.06% annual growth rate recorded in May 2012 and the +6.11% rate in April 2012.

As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 8.09% over the year ending June 2012, down from the +8.40% reported for May 2012. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.27%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from the +2.50% recorded in May 2012. The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +6.07% in June 2012, down from the +6.28% May 2012 print. The Hospital Index’s growth rate fell to +5.22% in June from its +5.56% annual rate in May.

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S&P: Average per capita cost of healthcare services increases in May

July 19th, 2012

The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 6.05% over the 12 months ending May 2012. This is a deceleration of six basis points from the +6.11% rate posted for April 2012, but still above what was experienced throughout 2011 and early 2012.

As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 8.38% over the year ending May 2012, down from the +8.41% reported for April 2012. Growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.52%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from April’s +2.60%.

The Professional Services Index annual growth rate increased from April 2012’s +6.16% to May’s +6.27%. The Hospital Index’s growth rate fell to +5.56% in May from its +5.77% April rate.

In May 2012, the Professional Services Medicare Index increased 2.89%, its lowest annual rate since October 2009 and down from April 2012’s +3.11%. The Hospital Medicare May’s annual growth rate was unchanged from April, +2.05%. The Professional Services Commercial Index increased to +7.99% in May, from +7.70% in April; and the Hospital Commercial Index decelerated to +8.38% in May from the +8.78% posted for April.

Download and read the complete S&P Healthcare Economic Indices press release here.

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U.S. healthcare costs’ annual growth rates increased in April

June 21st, 2012

The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 6.14% over the 12 months ending April 2012. This is almost a half a percentage point jump from the +5.65% rate posted for March 2012.

As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 8.46% over the year ending April 2012, up from the +7.78% reported for March 2012. Growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.60%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from March’s +2.42%.

The Professional Services Index annual growth rate also increased from its March 2012 +5.58% rate to April’s +6.18%. The Hospital Index annual growth rate increased to +5.81% in April, from its +5.44% March rate.

In April 2012, the Professional Services Medicare Index rose 3.11%, up from March’s +3.01%. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate was also up in April, to +2.04% from its March +1.80% rate. The Professional Services Commercial Index increased to +7.74% in April, from +6.86% in March; and the Hospital Commercial Index accelerated to +8.85% in April from the +8.39% posted for March.

“All Healthcare Economic Indices’ annual growth rates increased in April 2012 from what we published for March,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “There is a clear upward trend across all annual growth rates, which began around October 2011, and we have now reached close to the top of the range of price changes established over the last few years. The April increase in the Composite’s annual growth rate was largely driven by a substantial jump in commercial plans.

“While we saw acceleration in all types of health cost growth rates in April, those funded by commercial insurance plans increased at a faster pace than their Medicare counterparts. Our headline commercial index showed that costs for those plans increased by 8.46% in April 2012 versus the prior year. This is almost back to the recent high we saw in September 2010. The decelerating trend we saw in late 2010 and early 2011 has ended. We are now witnessing sustained increases in healthcare costs.

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Further acceleration in U.S. healthcare costs in February 2012

April 19th, 2012

The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.75% over the 12 months ending February 2012. This is an acceleration from the +5.23% annual growth rate posted for January 2012.

Healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans, as measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, increased by 7.73% over the year ending February 2012, up from the +7.09% reported for January 2012. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 2.72%, up from the +2.39% reported for January 2012. The Professional Services and Hospital broader indices’ annual growth rates also increased from their January 2012 rates; these indices posted February 2012 annual rates of +5.71% and +5.52% respectively.

The Professional Services Medicare Index, which had hit a two-year low of +3.31% in January 2012, recorded a slight increase in February 2012 with an annual growth rate of +3.55%. The Hospital Medicare annual growth rate continued its upward trend in February, with a +1.94% reading. The Professional Services Commercial Index accelerated to +6.78% in February from +6.04% in January; and the Hospital Commercial Index increased to +8.41% in February from +7.90% in the previous month.

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