Thursday, May 31, 2012
Historically Low Growth in Healthcare Spending Expected in 2013, Projects PwC Health Research Institute
NEW YORK, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare spendingin the United States is expected to grow at a historically low rate of 7.5 percent next year, according to the annual Behind the Numbersreport on medical cost trend, published today by the Health Research Institute (HRI) of PwC US. The projection continues a pattern of slower medical growth, a reflection of the sluggish economy, increased focus on cost containment by the industry, lower use of services by cost-conscious patients and efforts by employers to hold down expenses.
Medical inflation has been lower than expected for the past three years, and recalibration of previous estimates shows a low range of 7 percent to 7.5 percent from 2010 through 2013. Historically, healthcare spending bounces back up as the economy recovers. But, the HRI report identifies structural changes that may temper that pattern. A fourth year of relatively low growth suggests that the gap between healthcare spending and overall inflation may be narrowing to a more sustainable level.
Medical cost trend helps insurers and large employers set premium rates for the following year. For US employers, the net impact of next year's increase could be as low as 5.5 percent, after accounting for changes in benefit design by purchasers, HRI estimates.
Employers are focused on two primary strategies to control medical costs in 2013: increasing the employee share of costs and expanding health and wellness programs, according to the PwC 2012 Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey of 1,400 employers in 34 industries. The survey also showed that plan design features with the most significant changes in 2012 were a considerable increase in in-network deductibles, emergency room co-payments and prescription drug co-payments. Highlights include:
- Nearly six in ten employers (57 percent) are considering increasing employee contributions to health plans.
- Half of employers are considering increasing cost-sharing through plan design, such as higher deductibles. The average emergency room co-pay, for example, is now $125 or more.
- More than half of employers are considering raising employee prescription drug plan costs.
- Average enrollment in high deductible plans coupled with a Health Reimbursement Account has increased to 43.2 percent in 2012 from 34.2 percent in 2010.
- Nearly three quarters of employers (72 percent) offer wellness programs, and half of those say they are considering expanding those programs next year.
"Slower growth in healthcare costs could be the 'new normal,'" said Michael Thompson, principal, human resource services, PwC. "We're seeing long-term trends that could keep cost increases in check. As employers shift expenses to their employees, for example, these workers are pursuing lower-cost alternatives. Even as the economy strengthens, changes in behavior by employers and consumers may help limit medical growth."
In Behind the Numbers, HRI explores the leading cross currents likely to shape medical cost trend next year. One of two factors expected to "inflate" the trend in 2013 is an uptick in the consumption of healthcare as newly hired workers obtain coverage and patients who postponed elective procedures feel more confident about spending. Medical and technological advances that provide more specialized, sophisticated and expensive treatment also are expected to push up overall healthcare spending.
Four factors HRI expects will "deflate" the medical cost trend in 2013 are: Market pressure to reduce medical supply and equipment costs; increased popularity of new methods to deliver primary care; increased availability of comparative cost information; and accelerated savings from the pharmaceutical patent cliff.
"Market forces are driving demands for better outcomes and reasonable costs," said Kelly Barnes, US health industries leader, PwC. "The question is: How will the industry respond? We expect to see health organizations create services and partnerships that engage consumers and improve quality. It isn't just dollars spent, but value derived."
Behind the Numbers outlines the actions that employers, insurers, providers and pharmaceutical and life sciences companies are taking now to manage costs as well as strategies for the future. This is the seventh annual Behind the Numbers report published by HRI.
A full copy of Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2013 and highlights of the 2012 Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey are available at www.pwc.com/us/MedicalCostTrend and at www.pwc.com/us/touchstone2012.
About the Research To estimate medical cost trend, HRI conducts research each year to identify new and relevant factors that accelerate or reduce costs. For the 2013 medical cost trend, HRI relied on multiple sources including interviews with health plan actuaries, providers, health plans and employers, a review of financial analyst reports, government spending data and other published sources, as well as the PwC 2012 Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey. The 2012 Touchstone survey was completed in the first quarter of 2012 and contains detailed information from approximately 1,400 companies in 34 different industries as well as interviews with health plan actuaries and other executives whose companies provide health insurance for 47 million American workers and their families.
About PwC Health Research Institute (HRI) PwC's Health Research Institute provides new intelligence, perspectives, and analysis on trends affecting health-related industries. The Health Research Institute helps executive decision makers navigate change through primary research and collaborative exchange. Our views are shaped by a network of professionals with executive and day-to-day experience in the health industry. HRI research is not sponsored by businesses, government, or other institutions.
About PwC's Health Industries Group PwC's Health Industries Group (www.pwc.com/us/healthindustries) is a leading advisor to public and private organizations across the health industries, including healthcare providers, pharmaceuticals, health and life sciences, payers, employers, academic institutions and non-health organizations with significant presence in the health market. Follow PwC Health Industries at http://twitter.com/PwCHealth.
About the PwC Network PwC firms help organizations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a network of firms in 158 countries with close to 169,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com.
© 2012 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please seewww.pwc.com/structure for further details. This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.
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Beat the Summer Heat with VegasView.com and Pool Parties Las Vegas Style
LAS VEGAS, May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Planning a trip to Sin City this summer? No matter what activities you have planned, one thing is certain: nothing beats a Las Vegaspool party. VegasView.com has put together a list of the most fun and fabulous ways to deal with the hot desert heat. With VegasView.com you can save on your summer getaway with unbeatable Las Vegas hotel deals.
Here are a few Vegas pool parties worth checking out this summer:
Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel: Rehab is the original Vegas pool party. Today, it remains one of the biggest day clubs Las Vegas has to offer. Every Sunday from 11am to 8pm the Hard Rock pool transforms into Vegas' wildest party. Be sure to get their as early as possible as people line up to get in (renting out a cabana for the day will guarantee your entrance).
Ditch Fridays at the Palms: Play hooky from work and party at the Palms pool for Ditch Friday, one of the hottest pool clubs in Vegas. Remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (as long as it doesn't end up on Facebook, that is). Dance to beats from some of the most legendary DJs and hip-hop performers in the world!
Encore Beach Club at Encore: The Encore Beach Club is unlike anything you have ever seen. Enjoy the three tiered pools, dance to music from world renowned DJs, cool off under the showers in the middle of the pool, or relax on one of the giant lily pads in the shallow water.
Full release version available here: http://www.vegasview.com/press/beat-the-summer-heat-with-vegasview%232ecom-and-pool-parties-las-vegas-style
VegasView.com is the leading provider in Las Vegas hotel deals and Las Vegas specials. VegasView.com offers convenient hotel reservations at a better value than calling Las Vegas hotels directly. The company has formed a special relationship with Las Vegashotels in order to receive the best rates available for their customers. Browse through over 100 Las Vegas hotels, read hotel descriptions and amenities, user reviews, view photo galleries, and more. VegasView.com offers the best rates guaranteed at Las Vegas strip hotels and downtown Las Vegas hotels. Save up to 60% off of flight and hotel prices withLas Vegas vacation packages today!
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Marriott Rewards® members can earn that free flight faster than ever with the program's popular MegaMiles promotion
Take Off Faster With the Marriott Rewards® MegaMiles Promotion
BETHESDA, Md., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Marriott Rewards® members can earn that free flight faster than ever with the program's popular MegaMiles promotion. Members will earn triple miles with their preferred airline program when they stay at over 3,600 hotels in the Marriott family of brands beginning with their second stay* from July 1 - October 31, 2012.
Participating frequent flier program airlines include: Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Air Canada, Air China, Alaska Alirlines, Alitalia, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Avianca-TACA, Avios, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Delta, Frontier Airlines, GOL/Varig, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL), Jet Airways, JetBlue, Kingfisher Airlines, KLM/Air France, LAN, Miles & More, Qatar, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, TAP Portugal, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Enrollment in the Marriott Rewards program and registration for the promotion are required. Members can register for the promotion any time between now and October 31, 2012. For more information, terms and conditions or to register, visitMarriottRewards.com/MegaMiles or call 800-411-0862 in the U.S. and Canada. See offer Terms & Conditions.**
Choose from 13 distinctive brands: JW Marriott®, EDITION®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott(SM), Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott®, TownePlace Suites by Marriott® and Marriott Vacation Club®. Stays at Marriott Rewards' exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement.
Marriott Rewards has won the Freddie Award for "Best Hotel Rewards Program in the Americas" for 5 years in a row***, and has been named best hotel rewards program by the readers of About.com, Business Traveler, Global Traveler, Executive Travel andBusinessWeek magazines.
For information about Marriott Rewards, guests can call 1-800-450-4442 or log ontoMarriottRewards.com.
* A "stay" is defined as consecutive nights spent in the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity.
***In 2010 and 2011 the award was called the Frequent Traveler Award.
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at Marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit marriottnewscenter.com.
**MegaMiles Terms & ConditionsList of Partner Airlines. Earning period is July 1, 2012 to October 31, 2012. Enrollment and registration with Marriott Rewards® is required to be eligible for this promotion. A 'stay' is defined as consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, regardless of check-in/check-out activity. Members electing to earn Marriott Rewards points are not eligible for this promotion. This Marriott Rewards promotional offer is limited to specific participating airline partners only and is valid only for qualifying stays you personally make at participating Marriott® brand hotels. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for credit and MVC owner-occupied weeks are not eligible for credit. Base miles will be earned for each paid stay, PLUS earn triple miles every paid stay, beginning with the second stay. Marriott Rewards base mileage earned for qualifying charges is calculated based on the airline loyalty program's "currency" (points or miles). To review base mileage calculations, click here. For participating airline partners whose earning currency is in kilometers, bonus miles earned will be converted into kilometers at a conversion rate of 1.6 prior to posting to member's preferred airline account. Miles earned on all qualifying charges at JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club® brands; and on room rate only at EDITION®, AC Hotels by Marriott(SM), Courtyard by Marriott®, SpringHill Suites by Marriott®, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®, Residence Inn by Marriott® and TownePlace Suites by Marriott® brands. Stays at our exclusive luxury hotel partner, The Ritz-Carlton®, will count toward achievement. Miles are earned based on qualifying charges that are charged to the hotel room: room rate, meals, beverages, phone calls, movies, purchases at a Marriott-operated Gift Shop. Non-qualifying charges are: taxes, paid outs, gift certificate redemption/gift card purchases, banquet, catering and group charges. Nights spent while redeeming an award are not eligible for Elite credit. All Marriott Rewards program terms and conditions apply. Visit Marriott Rewards Terms & Conditions for complete details. Allow 4 to 6 weeks after promotion ends for miles to be posted to your airline/miles program account. Your preferred airline/miles program reserves the right to change program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the awards or mileage credits that you have accumulated. Your preferred airline/miles program is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies. All program terms and conditions of your preferred airline/miles program apply. If your current air miles program is not listed below, please go to MarriottRewards.com/MyAccount and update your account to one of the airlines participating in the MegaMiles promotion.
SOURCE Marriott InternationalBack to top
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