Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No need to exaggerate

The folks over at FierceHealthFinance are overly excited by a recent study produced by the Health Care Cost Institute.  That study, you will recall, pointed that out that health care costs have risen faster than inflation in 2009 and 2010.  During that period, inflation was 1.6%, while costs for those younger than 65 covered by employer sponsored, private health insurance rose by 3.3%.

This study was nicely reported by Kaiser Health News on May 21, which summarized it as follows:

Higher prices charged by hospitals, outpatient centers and other providers drove up health care spending at double the rate of inflation during the economic downturn– even as patients consumed less medical care overall, according to a new study. 

But that wasn't good enough for the Fierce folks the next day:

A study by a new non-partisan think tank, the Health Care Cost Institute, concluded that prices rose overall even as demand for services declined during the severe economic downturn. Overall per capita healthcare costs increased 3.3 percent between 2009 and 2010, about three times the annual overall inflation rate, according to the study.

1 comment:

Susannah said...

Love the keen mathematical ability of the Fierce HealthFinance folks, yeah, last time I checked 3.3% was about three times 1.6%, not! But more to the point, my question, when I read about the Health Care Cost Institute was (to quote from Butch Cassidy) "Who *are* these guys?" Kaiser Health News described them as a nonpartisan research group funded by insurers, which sounds like an oxymoron to me (but no wonder they could get private insurer data for their study!). Do you know anything more about the HCCI?