The reimbursement rates paid to acute-care hospitals increased 2.7% last year after a slowdown in 2011 that contributed to an overall deceleration in hospital spending,
preliminary figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show. Hospital reimbursement rates increased 2.2% in 2011.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports reimbursement rates paid to hospitals in its Producer Price Index.
For December, hospital reimbursement rates decreased 0.2%, the preliminary figures show, compared with an increase of 0.3% the same month the prior year.
Hospital reimbursement rebounded in 2012 for Medicare, private insurers and self-pay patients and accelerated slightly for Medicaid. Medicare reimbursement rates increased 2.1% last year after slowing to 1.5% in 2011 from the 2.8% growth reported in 2010. Medicaid reimbursement rates climbed 1.7%, a modest acceleration after the prior year's 1.2% growth, which followed a 0.4% drop in rates in 2010. Rates for all other payers, including private insurers and self-pay patients, increased 3.6% in 2012 after the 3.3% growth in 2011 and 4.7% growth in 2010.
Physician-office reimbursement slowed last year to 1.3% from the prior year's 1.5%. The figure excludes mental health services. For the month of December, physician office reimbursement rates increased 0.1%, an identical gain to the same month the prior year.