June 25, 2024

NCCI Publishes Medical Cost Trends Report

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recently published a new medical cost trends report, highlighting findings presented at their Annual Insights Symposium.

The report covers trends across healthcare, from hospitals to opioids, claim costs and duration, service utilization, and drug data.

Medical costs per claim have steadily increased over the years, with prescription drugs making up 7% of medical costs per claim and medical supplies making up 8% of medical costs per claim.

Drug costs per claim have dropped by 24% since 2012, largely due to reduced opioid prescribing. In 2012, approximately 1 in 4 claims included an opioid prescription, but that has fallen to only 1 in 16 claims in 2023, accounting for two-thirds of the overall drug cost decrease. In fact, due to significantly reduced opioid prescribing, there was a 2.5% annual decrease in drug costs.

One notable drug trend is a significant drop in Lyrica prescriptions as generic pregabalin became available. In 2012, almost 120,000 prescriptions for Lyrica were reported in the NCCI Medical Data Call, but that number has fallen to far below 20,000, with pregabalin prescriptions steadily rising since their generic approval.

Another major drug trend is an increase in topical spending. The average topical paid cost per claim increased 96% since 2012, highlighting a key area to focus on in pharmacy management.

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