Cost Factors - Patient Demand for Services

Our individual need for medical services is likely to increase as we grow older. As our population ages, there will be a continued growth in the number of health care services Americans need. However, it appears that today’s demand is increasing even faster.

A recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers concluded that increased consumer demand accounts for about 15 percent of annual premium increases. Our insatiable desire for the latest test or the newest drug is part of the reason health care costs are going up.

For example, even though Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas lost nearly 62,000 members from December 2002 to December 2003, BCBSKS members made nearly 25,000 more office visits in 2003 than in 2002.

- Back -