Health care prices rose nationally just 1.1 percent from April 2012 to April 2013, the lowest annual increase since 1997, and a sharp 0.5 percentage point drop from the rate of increase reported in March from a year earlier.
Health care prices in January 2013 were 1.5 percent higher than in January 2012, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the December rise, and the lowest reading since a 1.3 percent rate in December 1997, according to Ann Arbor based health care industry consultants Altarum Institute.
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National health expenditures grew at an estimated annual rate of 4.3 percent in 2012, a bit higher than the 3.9 percent experienced for each of the years 2009-2011. While this estimate is subject to revisions, it portends a fourth consecutive year of record-low growth.
Over the first 11 months of 2012, national health expenditures grew at an annual rate of 4.3 percent, compared to the 3.9 percent increase for 2011 reflected in data released last week by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
National health expenditures in October 2012 grew by 3.5 percent relative to October 2011, down two-tenths from the September rate, and representing the sixth consecutive month of below 4 percent growth.
Coinciding with the release Wednesday of the fall 2012 results on http://www.HospitalSafetyScore.org, Altarum Institute has released a new white paper describing strategies employers can use to increase the safety and quality of hospital care their employees receive and describes successful approaches used by leading employers across the United States.
National health expenditures in September 2012 grew by 3.7 percent relative to September 2011, ticking down a tenth from the August rate, and representing the fifth consecutive month of below 4 percent growth. At 4 percent, the average monthly rate of growth in spending, year-to-date is barely above the all-time low rate of 3.8 percent recorded in 2009.
National health expenditures in August 2012 grew by 3.8 percent relative to August 2011, equal to the July rate, and representing the fourth consecutive month of growth below 4 percent. The 2012 average rate of growth in spending at 4.1 percent is down sharply from the estimated 2011 average of 5.2 percent and helps alleviate fears of a new acceleration in overall health spending.
National health expenditures in July 2012 grew by 4.2 percent relative to July 2011, up from the 3.9 percent growth rate observed in June, but still representing a historically moderate trend rate.