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Press release from PR Newswire

Annual Growth Rates Accelerate in January 2013 According to the S&P Healthcare Economic Indices

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Annual Growth Rates Accelerate in January 2013 According to the S&P Healthcare Economic Indices09:31 EDT Thursday, March 21, 2013NEW YORK, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Data released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for the S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 3.83% over the 12-months ending January 2013. This is an acceleration from the +3.72% annual growth rate recorded in December 2012.Eight of the nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices showed increased annual growth rates in January 2013. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans increased by 5.41% in January, up from +5.38% reported for December. Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs rose by 1.41%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from +1.19% recorded in December.The Professional Services Index annual growth rate was +4.98% in January 2013, up from the +4.77% December print. The Professional Services Commercial Index accelerated to +7.58% in January, up from +7.33% reported in December. The Professional Services Medicare annual growth rate was +0.03% in January, up from -0.12% posted in December. The Hospital Index's growth rate was +2.58% in January, up from +2.55% recorded in December. It was driven by the Hospital Medicare Index, which posted a +2.17% annual rate in January and +1.91% last month. The Hospital Commercial annual growth rate hit its historic low of +2.86% in January, it posted +3.00% in December. "In January 2013 eight of the nine headline healthcare indices we publish showed acceleration in their annual growth rates," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  While eight of the nine key components increased, the increases were small to moderate."The Composite Index posted an annual rate of +3.83%, the Commercial Index +5.41% and the Medicare Index +1.41%. In January, four of the nine healthcare indices ticked up from their historic lows posted in December. They were the Composite Index, the Medicare Index, the Professional Services Medicare Index and the Hospital Index. The Commercial Index at +5.41% went 0.03 percentage points above its recent low posted in December. The only index that decelerated in January was the Hospital Commercial; it posted a historic low of +2.86%. "The Professional Services Medicare posted +0.03% in January, 0.15 percentage points up from its December rate. It has the lowest annual growth rate among our healthcare indices. The Professional Services Commercial Index was +7.58% this month, 0.25 percentage points up from its December rate.  It remains the highest index among healthcare indices we cover." The S&P Healthcare Economic Indices estimate the per capita change in revenues accrued each month by hospital and professional services facilities for services provided to patients covered under traditional Medicare and commercial health insurance programs in the U.S. The annual growth rates are determined by calculating a percent change of the 12-month moving averages of the monthly index levels versus the same month of the prior year.The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index is a weighted average of the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index and the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index.  Alternatively, it is a weighted average of the S&P Healthcare Economic Hospital Index and the S&P Healthcare Economic Professional Services Index, as each of these indices has the analogous Commercial and Medicare component.The table below summarizes the year-over-year change in the S&P Healthcare Economic Indices for the 12-month period ending January 2013. With each monthly release, the index levels, including the 12-month moving averages, are recalculated for the full history of the indices, whenever there are revisions to underlying data used in the models. The entire revised history, as well as full results for the underlying S&P Healthcare Economic Indices, is available from S&P Dow Jones Indices as a subscription service.S&P Healthcare Economic Indices(12-Month Moving Average)Index1-Year Change (%)S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index3.83%S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index1.41%S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index5.41%S&P Healthcare Economic Hospital Index2.58%S&P Healthcare Economic Hospital Medicare Index2.17%S&P Healthcare Economic Hospital Commercial Index2.86%S&P Healthcare Economic Professional Services Index4.98%S&P Healthcare Economic Professional Services Medicare Index0.03%S&P Healthcare Economic Professional Services Commercial Index7.58%Source: S&P Dow Jones IndicesData through January 2013  As observed in the past, medical costs funded by commercial insurance plans significantly exceed those funded by Medicare.The S&P Healthcare Economic Indices were developed in consultation with Health Index Advisors, a joint venture between Aon Hewitt and Milliman, Inc., and were derived from the former Milliman, Inc. Health Cost Index? which was first published in 1987. The complete methodology, fact sheet and supporting research for the S&P Healthcare Economic Indices are available at S&P Dow Jones IndicesS&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, a subsidiary of The McGraw-Hill Companies is the world's largest, global resource for index-based concepts, data and research. Home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average(SM), S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC has over 115 years of experience constructing innovative and transparent solutions that fulfill the needs of institutional and retail investors. More assets are invested in products based upon our indices than any other provider in the world. With over 830,000 indices covering a wide range of assets classes across the globe, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC defines the way investors measure and trade the markets. To learn more about our company, please visit It is not possible to invest directly in an index. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, and their respective affiliates, parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, shareholders, employees and agents (collectively "S&P Dow Jones Indices") does not sponsor, endorse, sell, or promote any investment fund or other vehicle that is offered by third parties and that seeks to provide an investment return based on the returns of any S&P Dow Jones Indices index. This document does not constitute an offer of services in jurisdictions where S&P Dow Jones Indices or its affiliates do not have the necessary licenses. S&P Dow Jones Indices receives compensation in connection with licensing its indices to third parties.STANDARD & POOR'S and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC.  "Dow Jones" is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC ("Dow Jones").For more information:Dave GuarinoCommunicationsS&P Dow Jones Indicesdave_guarino@spdji.com212-438-1471David BlitzerManaging Director and Chairman of the Index CommitteeS&P Dow Jones Indicesdavid_blitzer@spdji.com212-438-3907 SOURCE S&P Dow Jones Indices