Health care spending increased at twice the rate of inflation as hospitals and other providers raised prices, according to a recent study by Health Care Cost Institute.
Prices for emergency room visits, outpatient surgery and facility based mental and substance care increased five times faster than inflation from 2009 to 2010, according to the study. The only category that experienced a drop in prices was nursing home care, as prices dropped 3.2 percent per admission. Children's medical care was one of the fastest growing areas of spending.
The data represent about 20 percent of people with insurance but do not include spending for people fon Medicaid, Medicare or who have their own policies. The findings are based on approximately 3 billion claims paid by UnitedHealthcare, Humana and Aetna on behalf of 33 million people with employer-based insurance across the U.S., according to the study.