A good example of the potential of big data by the Health Care Cost Institute database of 5 billion health insurance claims, covering 33 million Americans. Some preliminary conclusions regarding rising healthcare costs:
- Higher prices charged by hospitals and other prices have driven health care cost growth during the recession, rather than Americans using more medicine.
- Medical prices grew three times faster than the Consumer Price Index, a measure of price inflation, between 2009 and 2010.
- This confirms similar trends seen in the National Health Expenditures report as well as in Medicare data, both of which show people using less health care as the economy slowed.
- The cost of an emergency room visit went up 11 percent between 2009 and 2010, while the price of a trip to a skilled nursing facility actually fell by 3.2 percent over the same time period.