Healthcare Spending Exhibits Surprisingly Low Growth

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media , January 9, 2013

"The growth in the use of retail clinics has gone from about 7.5% in the year 2007... to 24% in 2011," she says. "They're shopping around looking for better prices and better value."

Consumerism is changing the healthcare marketplace. Not only are retail clinics becoming a more popular place for healthcare (flu shots, anyone?), but one payer, Florida Blue, is selling its services in retail stores.

PwC's Health Research Institute has just issued a report listing the "consumer revolution in health coverage," as the number two issue to watch in 2013. It's second only to states getting prepared for health insurance exchanges this year, which, according to Connolly, will be a "sprint year," for payers who are ramping up for the exchanges quietly.

"We know from our work that a lot more is happening than is necessarily publicly announced and advertised right now," she says. 

"A lot of these companies have been doing an enormous amount of preparation quietly behind the scenes, they were waiting for the Supreme Court ruling, they were waiting for the election results, they've been waiting to see some different rules and regulations, but they've been preparing and developing their plans and their strategies, and the infrastructure needed, and the personnel and a lot of that. So much more activity has taken place than perhaps is obvious."

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