Someone's costs are someone else's revenue.
The cost of medical goods and services covered by private health plans increased 6.6% in 1999--translating to a corresponding increase in revenue for healthcare companies, including providers, according to a study published in the November-December issue of the journal Health Affairs.
The 6.6% jump was the highest since 1991 when it was 6.9%. In 1998 the increase was 5.1%.
Of that 6.6% increase last year, spending on drugs accounted for 44%, according to the study, led by the Center for Studying Health System Change, a nonpartisan research organization in Washington.
Spending on hospital inpatient services accounted for 3% of the 6.6% increase, while spending on physician services accounted for 32%. Hospital outpatient spending accounted for 21% of the jump.
The study is based largely on data from the Milliman & Robertson Health Cost Index. The data do not include Medicare.