Factors Affecting Medical Trend: Inflators

Just as the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession played a large role in slowing medical inflation, now the improving economy pushes in the opposite direction. Another certainty to increase the healthcare spending growth rate in 2015: several costly specialty therapies going on the market. More mergers and acquisitions also incur new costs. As physician practices are acquired, for instance, hospitals can bill outpatient services at a higher hospital facility fee. And newly consolidated health systems must be wired for information technology at a sizeable investment.