A new study from Truven, the health analytics company, says there are a few main causes of increasing health spending. “The study examined medical claims data for over 8 million commercially insured individuals under the age of 65 from 2006 to 2011, including those covered by large employers who are self-insured. It found that during the five year period, employer healthcare costs increased by an average of 4.3 percent per year, driven largely by spending on preventive health services; osteoarthritis (except spine); multiple sclerosis; childbirth (Cesarean section); and complications of surgical and medical care. The majority of spending growth was driven by an increase in the cost per case, primarily attributable to medical and surgical procedures. Other cost drivers that show up in the data are the steadily increasing cost of specialty drugs and the ongoing obesity epidemic, which is an underlying driver of many of the diseases noted in the report. … Musculoskeletal conditions are the costliest and most rapidly growing group of diseases… Complications of surgical and medical care are occurring more frequently in part due to the growing use of surgery to treat orthopedic conditions.”

Truven Health Analytics Study Identifies Leading Drivers of Employer Health Costs | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...