Report: Utilization of health care services declines — but spending higher
The Health Care Cost and Utilization Report: 2010 found that while medical care utilization declined by more than five percent from 2007 to 2010 for inpatient admissions, emergency room visits, primary care provider office visits and radiology procedures, prices rose across all categories of service with outpatient services experiencing the fastest growth.
“Unlike other recent reports on health care spending, we find that the increased spending is mostly due to unit price increases rather than changes in the quantity or intensity of services,” the report concludes.
The report by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) is based on a review of health insurance claims for more than 33 million individuals covered under employer sponsored, private health insurance from 2007 to 2010 including both fully insured and self-funded benefit programs. The dataset represents about 20 percent of all individuals younger than 65 with employer-provided coverage, according to the HCCI.