US Healthcare Costs Grew 5.28% in 2011

Healthcare costs easily outpaced the 3% growth in overall inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for 2011, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. One healthcare economist says costs are "trending back toward acceleration after a lull."

1 comments on "US Healthcare Costs Grew 5.28% in 2011"
Jackie Larson - Avantas (2/22/2012 at 12:21 PM)

A lot of interesting facts and figures presented here. What is not mentioned however are the causes behind the rising costs: Labor. According to the AHA's 2011 Cost of Caring report, "the majority of spending on hospital services goes to caregivers and other hospital workers, and these costs are rising." William Bertschinger, divisional chairman of finance at the Mayo Clinic, at a speech given in January, 2010, at the Symposium on Payment Solutions for Healthcare Providers and Payers in Las Vegas noted that labor accounts for 70 percent of healthcare costs passed along to consumers. Without question, the area that can have the single greatest impact on the rising costs of healthcare is labor. We find that most hospitals can experience labor savings of 3-6% and often greater by implementing some very basic workforce management methodologies and practices. On this scale, the possible savings per hospital is incredibly substantial. On the unit level, this amounts to roughly $100K per unit, per year.


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