Medical cost trends are expected to rise from 8.1% to 8.5% in 2012.
As cited in the article titled “Behind the Numbers Medical Cost Trends for 2012-Health” Health Research Institute 2011, medical cost trends are expected to rise from 8.1 % to 8.5 % in 2012.
Medical cost trend is the projected increase in the cost of medical services and is used for setting premiums for health insurance plans. About 33 percent of all benefit cost is attributed to physician services, while inpatient hospital costs are second at around 31 percent and outpatient hospital services are 17 percent. Prescriptions are at 15 percent of medical cost and the remaining 4 percent are costs associated to services such as Home Health, Skilled Nursing Facilities and medical equipment.
This increase is influenced by the unit cost inflation, changes in unit prices of medical products and services that may be affected by the economy, inflation and new technology. Changes in the volume of services or utilizations are another driver that may increase medical costs and may be affected by demographics, advertising and the use of technology.
For consumers, providers and payers, it is important to know what the cost of a service, equipment and new technology will be for each year, as health plans prepare to set their yearly insurance offerings to employers.
Finding out what other providers of medical services and equipment are charging can be a daunting task. Each year new services and their related procedure codes and fees need to be established from a variety of data points.
One way to access this cumulative data is to obtain the fee of the service or medical equipment from Context 4 Healthcare. Based on Geozip - Usual, Customary and Reasonable Fees (UCR), Physician Fee Reports, as well as Medicare Par and Non Par fee for service are available in a single data source. Armed with knowledge that represents cumulative data, correct decisions can be made to price medical services and equipment.