Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Is Medicare cost growth slowing?

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Aug• 20•11

Ezra Klein reports that this may in fact be the case according to S&P Healthcare Economics.

S&P Health Economics Index“This chart shows per-patient Medicare revenue falling to a 2.5 percent growth rate, the lowest since S&P Indices started tracking numbers six years ago. At the very top of the this chart you see the ‘commercial index’ — which is mostly private insurance companies — seeing some drop-off, too, but not nearly at the rate in Medicare.”

I would not read too much into this.  The decreasing per patient cost could be due to factors such as: a larger share Medicare beneficiaries are now baby boomers who are relatively healthier than Medicare population from previous years or the bad economy may make people less willing to pay the deductibles and co-payments required to receive medical services.  We will see if health spending growth will continue this slowing trend into the future.

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