Report: 2017 Global Medical Trends Survey Report

The cost of medical care continues to rise across the globe, according to insurers responding to the 2017 Willis Towers Watson Global Medical Trends Survey.

To contain the cost, most employers are turning to traditional strategies such as cost management and cost sharing. However, the report found evidence of greater investment in health strategies that offer preventative care to tackle these rising costs.

Key findings:

  • The average global medical trend is projected to be 7.8% (weighted by GDP per capita) in 2017.
  • Employers anticipate a higher trend due to three major drivers: hospital/inpatient services and basic medical/outpatient services; providers overprescribing too many services and employees seeking inappropriate care; and new medical technology and higher provider profit.
  • Employers continue to respond to higher costs primarily with traditional methods of cost management and cost sharing with employees.
  • The report found that wellbeing programmes are offered by nearly half of employers in Europe and by most employers in the Americas.
  • Also on the rise were health risk assessments, second medical opinions, biometric screenings, and lifestyle and health education.