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Index reveals healthcare spending trends

Posted On Tue, November 16, 2010

Many people can tell spending on healthcare has increased just by looking at their wallet. The Thomson Reuters Healthcare Spending Index for Private Insurance reveals that spending on some type of care has increased more than others.

For the year ending on June 30, health insurance rates increased 6.3 percent, according to the index. The most notable increase was for hospital visits, which rose more than 8 percent.

Gary Pickens, a chief research officer at the Thomson Reuters Center for Healthcare Analytics, says the index can be helpful when looking for trends.

"The index is accurate and detailed because it's based on the healthcare utilization of millions of Americans," says Pickens. "That allows us to report on cost trends overall and for key components - hospitals, physicians, drugs, and patients' out-of-pocket costs."

Some creativity has been used by some employers to reduce costs. A survey by the Rochester Business Alliance found that many businesses near the city are beginning to utilize high deductible plans and health savings accounts in order to help mitigate the effects of rising rates without impacting their bottom line.

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