Research shows that the inflation of healthcare spending rates has slowed since 2009 as a result of a slow economy, PwC announced in a report today. Rates are expected to grow only 7.5 percent by 2013, a historical low in healthcare costs.
The Health Research Institute (HRI) of PwC found that increasingly frugal medical spending in reaction to the down economy contributed to the decreased spending. The report shows key factors, such as lower costs of medical equipment and supplies.
Health industries hope to maintain this "deflation" trend by 2013, despite predictions that costs will begin to increase. Spending is expected to go up with more technologically advanced and expensive medical procedures, as well as more insured patients.
According to a PwC 2012 Health and Well-Being Touchstone survey, the industry can control medical costs with strategies, such as emergency department and prescription copays, as well as employee contributions to health plans. The survey indicates that employers are taking steps to control medical costs.
HRI is optimistic that the health industry will take appropriate measures to contain the cost of spending. "Market forces are driving demands for better outcomes and reasonable costs," Kelly Barnes, U.S. health industries leader at PwC, said. "The question is: How will the industry respond? We expect to see health organizations create services and partnerships that engage consumers and improve quality. It isn't just dollars spent, but value derived."