By Shelby Livingston, Crain News Service
WASHINGTON (May 13, 2016) — National healthcare costs grew 6.5 percent in 2015, driven by steep increases in the cost of brand-name drugs, according to a report published May 9 by S&P Global.
To compare, total healthcare costs grew 4.3 percent in 2014, according to the report.
Drug costs in 2015 increased by 15.8 percent overall, compared with 12.6 percent in 2014, Washington-based S&P said in the report.
Brand-name drug costs soared 19.2 percent in 2015, compared with 13.2 percent last year.
By contrast, generic drug costs increased 6.6 percent in 2015, compared with an increase of 11.0 percent in 2014.
Medical services costs increased by 4.3 percent in 2015, while medical services grew only 2.6 percent the year before.
Monthly costs per covered member in the employer-sponsored insurance market grew 4.6 percent to $485.77 as of December 2015, up from $464.32.
Health costs in the individual market trumped those in the employer-sponsored market as per member per month costs hit $525.33 at the end of 2015, up 15.5 percent from $454.71.
John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Healthcare and executive director of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, responded to the S&P report in a statement May 9: “Annual prescription price hikes are driving the overall increase in healthcare costs and making healthcare less affordable for Americans.”
The S&P report, he continued, “confirms what we've been saying — these increases in drug costs are unsustainable — and solutions to promote transparency, increase competition and focus on value must be advanced.”
This report appeared on the website of Crain's Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.