Tags: PricewaterhouseCoopers | healthcare | cost | increase

PricewaterhouseCoopers Study: Healthcare Cost Increases Will Accelerate in 2015

By    |   Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:03 AM

Healthcare costs will rise 6.8 percent next year, following a 6.5 percent increase this year, according to a study from consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

As for the factors that will push prices higher, the study cited the "economic upswing," specialty drugs, physician employment and information technology investments.

When it comes to the economy, "more confident consumers are visiting doctors and the number of people delaying care has notably declined," the report stated.

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On the specialty drug front, "as exemplified by new high-cost Hepatitis C therapies, drug development continues to play an inflationary role in the short run," the study said.

Meanwhile, "once hospitals and health systems acquire in-house physician practices, they have the ability to immediately escalate physician charges to the higher hospital rate, which will trigger a rise in spending next year," the report noted.

As for factors that will restrain price increases, the report cited "systemness," healthcare price shopping and risk-based payments.

So what is systemness?

"Understanding that a well-functioning whole is greater than its disparate parts, care teams are seeking to achieve more by working together," the study stated. Costs are lowered by reducing administrative redundancies and standardizing clinical practices.

In addition, health care providers are being held financially accountable for patient outcomes with "at-risk" payments.

"The fact that health spending continues to outpace GDP underscores the need for a renewed focus on productivity, efficiency and, ultimately, delivering better value for purchasers," PricewaterhouseCoopers noted.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution offered seven tops to control your personal medical spending.
  • Avoid going to the emergency department.
  • Shop around for a fair price on any procedures.
  • In addition to having insurance, join a discount health plan.
  • Analyze your medical bills to make sure you are charged correctly.
  • If getting a procedure, schedule it for early in the morning so that you won't necessarily need to have an overnight stay in the hospital.
  • Compare prescription drug prices.
  • Instead of going to a physician's office, go to a retail clinic.
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Healthcare costs will rise 6.8 percent next year, following a 6.5 percent increase this year, according to a study from consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, healthcare, cost, increase
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2014-03-24
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 11:03 AM
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