Evidence of managed care’s success in containing costs: The Health Care Financing Administration reports health care expenditures, including private- and public-sector costs, rose only 4.4 percent in 1996–the smallest increase since statistics were first kept in 1960.
Annual cost increases have declined for six consecutive years since hitting 11 percent in 1990. In 1996, most spending –including that for physician, dental and other professional services and nursing home care –rose more modestly than in previous years. Prescription drug costs bucked the trend, rising faster than in 1995.
Similarly, a separate, major barometer of health costs, the annual Mercer/Foster Higgins survey, reported that bulging managed care enrollment contributed to a mere 0.2 percent increase in health costs for individuals covered by employer-sponsored health care.
But wait to pop those champagne corks. The good feeling could be short-lived, if analysts’ predictions about higher costs of employer-sponsored health care are on the mark. Already, a Towers Perrin employer survey indicates health plan costs are up 4 percent this year.
“Most of our survey respondents expect even faster cost growth in 1999,” says William J. Falk, a principal in Towers Perrin’s Chicago office.
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Paul Lendner ist ein praktizierender Experte im Bereich Gesundheit, Medizin und Fitness. Er schreibt bereits seit über 5 Jahren für das Managed Care Mag. Mit seinen Artikeln, die einen einzigartigen Expertenstatus nachweißen, liefert er unseren Lesern nicht nur Mehrwert, sondern auch Hilfestellung bei ihren Problemen.