“The cost of healthcare services is expected to rise 7.5 percent in 2013, more than three times the projected rates for inflation and economic growth, according to an industry research report released on Thursday.
But premiums for large employer-sponsored health plans could increase by only 5.5 percent as a result of company wellness programs and a growing trend toward plans that impose higher insurance costs on workers, said the report by the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, or PwC.
The projected growth rate of 7.5 percent for overall healthcare costs contrasts with expectations for growth of 2.4 percent in gross domestic product and a 2.0 percent rise in consumer prices during 2013, according to the latest Reuters economic survey.”
The PwC report finds that for the commercially insured population, physician care is the largest component of medical costs (32%), but outpatient is the fastest growing.
Other trends of note:
- Retail clinics are rising in popularity. Almost 25 percent of patients sought care at retail clinic in 2011.
- After a decrease during the latest recession, cosmetic surgery volume is again rising.
- The number of claims greater than $1 million more than doubled between 2004 and 2008.
- High deductible health plans have increased form 4 percent of market share in 2006 to 17 percent in 2011.