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5 Things to Know About Medical Office Visits in 2012

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A new study released by the IMS Institute shows office visits are on the decline in the United States.

The report, titled "Declining Medicine Use and Costs: For Better or Worse?" found that spending on office visits was down 3.5 percent from 2012, totaling $325.8 billion. Key trends from the report include:

•    Patient office visits fell 0.9 percent in 2012 while outpatient and non-emergency room admissions were also down slightly.
•    Increased availability of generics, now accounting for 84 percent of all prescriptions, led to lower utilization of brand drugs.
•    Patients with insurance paid higher deductibles and higher co-pays or co-insurance, and nearly 20 percent of the insured population are now in a consumer-driven health plan.
•    Average out-of-pocket for patient under 65 reached $1,146 in 2012, a 30 percent increase from 2011.
•    Twenty-eight new molecular entities were made available to patients in 2012, including seven with orphan drug designation form the FDA. There were nine new cancer treatments.

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