Small and midsize companies saw healthcare costs increase 9.8% and 10%, respectively. That's significantly faster than the 5% jump in medical and pharmaceutical spending for small employers in 2008 and the 6.5% rise among midsize companies the same year. Small businesses employ fewer than 5,000 workers while medium-size companies have 5,000 to 50,000 employees.
But large employers, those with more than 50,000 workers, saw health spending growth slow to 5% from 5.8% the prior year.
Medical and pharmaceutical spending accelerated, despite fewer hospital visits and prescriptions, the data show. Inpatient hospital and drug prices increased, while rising prices and increased use services fueled an 8.7% increase in outpatient costs.
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