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2019 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report Released

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The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) released the 2019 Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, their annual look at health care spending among people with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI). Despite recent increases in use, changes in the mix of services, and demographic shifts, rising prices remain the primary driver of spending growth between 2015 and 2019 – responsible for nearly two-thirds of total per-person spending growth.

For example, hospital prices increased by almost 31% from 2015-2019, leading to a 14.4% increase in spending despite a 12.5% decline in hospital utilization. Other findings from the report include:

  • Between 2015 and 2019, average annual per-person spending increased by 21.8% or $1,074 per person.
  • Although prices continued to grow each year, utilization of health care services declined slightly in 2019, leading to slower year-to-year spending growth.
  • Unit price changes continue to drive increases in spending.

The report draws on data from more than 2.5 billion medical and prescription drug claims for
approximately 55 million individuals enrolled in employer
sponsored health insurance annually between 2015 and 2019.

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