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2015 Medical Cost Trends and Implications: PwC Research Behind the Numbers 
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After a five-year contraction in employer healthcare spending growth, medical inflation in the U.S. is projected to rise to 6.8 percent in 2015, according to PwC’s Health Research Institute (HRI). It is critical for stakeholders positioning themselves for 2015 and beyond to consider and address the associated trends and implications, from the reach of the stronger economy into the health sector, releasing a pent-up demand for care and services.

Despite some higher utilization and the cost of expensive new cures, the higher expected growth rate in 2015 is modest compared to the double-digit annual increases seen throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, the fact that health spending continues to outpace GDP underscores the need for a renewed focus on productivity, efficiency and ultimately delivering better value for healthcare customers.

The critical question, going forward, is will the drive for transparency and better value for each healthcare dollar – the cornerstone of the new health economy – be able to temper spending growth once millions of newly insured access the healthcare system?

Four factors PwC will discuss in detail that "inflate" the medical cost trend in 2015: (1) Economic upswing; (2) Specialty drugs; (3) Physician employment; and (4) Information technology investments for large-scale health system mergers and acquisitions. PwC will also address three factors that serve to "deflate" the 2015 medical cost trend: (1) “Systemness” – Understanding that a well-functioning whole is greater than its disparate parts, and reducing redundancies lowers operating costs; (2) Healthcare price shopping; and (3) Risk-based payments.

Each year, PwC's HRI provides estimates on the growth of private medical costs over the next year and what the leading drivers of that shift are expected to be. Insurance companies use medical cost trend to help set premiums by estimating what the same health plan this year would cost the following year. In turn, employers use the information to make adjustments in benefit design to help offset cost increases. HRI conducted interviews in late 2014 with industry executives, health policy experts, and health plan actuaries whose companies cover a combined 93 million members. Findings from PwC's Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey of 1,200 employers from 35 industries are also included. HRI also examined government data sources, journal articles, and conference proceedings in determining medical cost trend.

Please join us Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 1:00 PM Eastern as Benjamin Isgur, Director of PwC's Health Research Institute takes us behind the numbers to examine employer 2015 medical cost trends and implications for stakeholders. He will discuss in detail PwC research findings, expand on individual factors that will "deflate" and inflate components of the medical cost trend for 2015, and address strategic implications for health plans, providers, employers, consumers and other stakeholders.
Learning Objectives
Participants will be able to:
  1. Explore PwC research data findings from the Behind the Numbers 2015 Medical Cost Trend Report and PwC's 2014 Health and Well-Being Touchstone Survey.
  2. Ascertain the trends and implications for Employers, Plans, Providers and other applicable stakeholders regarding PwC research findings.
  3. Understand the forces behind the primary deflators and inflators driving current medical cost trends
  4. Consider the juxtaposition of a stronger economy, pent-up demand and a larger covered population; against the the drive for transparency and better value for each healthcare dollar.
  5. Engage in interactive learning through online question submission, attendee feedback and opportunity for follow up questions, and networking with attendees, faculty and other professionals through dedicated LinkedIn group
Who Should Attend

Interested attendees would include:

  • C-Suite Executives
  • Health Benefit Executives and Staff
  • Policy, Health Reform and Regulatory Affairs Executives and Staff
  • Human Resources Executives
  • Strategy and Planning Executives and Staff
  • Marketing Executives
  • Business Development Executives
  • Actuarial Executives and Staff
  • Business Intelligence Staff
  • Informatics and Analytics Executives and Staff
  • Other Interested Parties

Attendees would represent organizations including:

  • Employers
  • Health Plans 
  • Hospitals and Health Systems
  • Provider Networks and Accountable Care Organizations
  • Third Party Administrators
  • Agents and Benefit Consulting Organizations
  • Pharmaceutical Organizations
  • PBMs
  • Solutions Providers 
  • Associations, Institutes and Research Organizations 
  • Media
  • Other Interested Organizations
2015 Medical Cost Trends & Implications: PwC Research Behind the Numbers 
  Individual Registration Fee: $195. webinar flash drive with video syncing slides and recorded audio, plus presentation pdf file: $45 for attendees; $260 for non-attendees after the event. Register online or download the event brochure.
Register Now   Corporate Site licensing also available. Click here to register or call 209.577.4888 We look forward to your participation in this event!
Ben Isgur

Benjamin Isgur
PWC’s Health Research Institute

  Benjamin Isgur is a Director of PwC's Health Research Institute. As a Director, Mr. Isgur develops national and global thought leadership and research initiatives for the firm and clients. HRI is a dedicated research group that provides new intelligence, perspective, and analysis on major health-related business issues. He also consults with healthcare systems, trade associations, and policy groups on strategic planning, and industry intelligence and trends.

Mr. Isgur has worked extensively with health policy and industry associations including, American Hospital Association (AHA), Texas Hospital Association (THA), Indiana Health and Hospital Association (IHHA), Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), Texas Institute of Health Policy Research (TIHPR), and the California Healthcare Foundation (CHCF).

Mr. Isgur has published numerous reports and spoken on health subjects such as, government health policy, workforce strategies, hospital charity care and community benefit, consumerism, and the digital hospital environment. Prior to joining PwC he worked in government relations, legislative and regulatory consulting, and policy analysis in Texas, Washington D.C. and internationally. He received a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts, Government and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

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