S&P: Annual growth rates increase moderately in June

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 3.00% over the 12 months ending June 2013, accelerating from the 2.96% annual growth rate recorded in May.

Eight of the nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices showed higher annual growth rates for June 2013 compared to May 2013. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans rose by 4.14% in June, up from 4.09% reported in May. Annual growth rates in Medicare costs increased by 1.27% in June, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from a 1.22% rate recorded the previous month.

The Hospital Index’s growth rate posted 2.05% in June, up from 1.97% reported in May. The Hospital Medicare Index recorded a 2.17% annual rate in June, up from 2.09%. The Hospital Commercial annual growth rate posted 1.95% in June, up from 1.85%.

The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was 3.86% in June, marginally up from the 3.85% May value. The Professional Services Commercial Index accelerated to 6.08% in June, up from 6.06%. The Professional Services Medicare annual growth rate hit a new low of -0.39% in June, down from -0.38% recorded in May.

“Following a period when healthcare cost growth rates were dropping, we’re now seeing increases in most of the indices. Even after this month’s figures, the indices growth rates are among the lowest since the indices’ start dates in 2005. Eight of the nine headline indices’ annual rates moderately accelerated in June,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The annual growth rate for the S&P Healthcare Composite Index was 3.00%, the annual growth rate for the Commercial Index was 4.14%, and for the Medicare Index was 1.27%.

“After 13 months of deceleration, the Hospital Commercial Index accelerated by ten basis points in the annual growth rate. It has the highest acceleration among the healthcare indices covered.

“The Professional Services Medicare Index annual growth rate hit a new low of -0.39% in June, one basis point down from last month. It has the lowest annual growth rate among our healthcare indices and remains the only negative one. The Professional Services Commercial Index posted a 6.08% rate in June, two basis points up from its May rate. It remained the highest among the healthcare indices we cover.”

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