PwC: Slowdown In Health Care Costs May Be Turning Into A Trend

The accounting and consulting company PricewaterhouseCoopers projects lower overall growth in costs for next year.

The Associated Press: Report: Slowdown In US Health Care To Continue
There's good news for most companies that provide health benefits for their employees: America's slowdown in medical costs may be turning into a trend, rather than a mere pause. A report Tuesday from accounting and consulting giant PwC projects lower overall growth in medical costs for next year, even as the economy gains strength and millions of uninsured people receive coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law (Alonso-Zaldivar, 6/17).

Bloomberg: Health Cost Growth Slows Further Even As Economy Rebounds
Provisions in the Affordable Care Act that penalize hospitals for excessive readmissions and encourage employers to offer wellness programs are slowing the growth of U.S. medical costs, even as the economy rebounds. Health-care costs for commercial insurers and employers are expected to rise about 4.5 percent next year after accounting for changes in benefits, ... The report supports President Barack Obama’s contentions that the 2010 law has contributed to historically slow cost growth. “It’s picking up speed and force,” said Ceci Connolly, managing director of PwC’s Health Research Institute (Wayne, 6/18).

Meanwhile, another study examines the future of Medicare savings --

Politico Pro: Study: More Medicare Savings Coming
Medicare savings could be $1.1 trillion more than the Medicare trustees estimated over the next 10 years if current trends continue, according to a study backed by the Federation of American Hospitals. The study, due to be released on Tuesday, also finds that the recent decline in health care spending growth is because of structural changes in health care more than economic factors (Haberkorn, 6/17).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.