Large employers will see health costs grow in line with recent trends, but there's a shift in what's driving spending, according to new data from PwC's Health Research Institute.
The big surprise is that some of the biggest spending increases are coming from lower-cost basic health care.
"Last year high-cost specialty drugs was the main driver of trends. This year, it's more utilization that's driving trends," said PwC partner Barbara Gniewek.
The growing popularity of urgent care centers and retail clinics is driving more of us to seek care for routine ailments more often, according to PwC's latest annual spending outlook, Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2017.
All those extra visits for ear infections and colds that might have been avoided are starting to add up in volume. While spending on doctor's office visits has fallen 17 percent over the past 10 years, expenditures for outpatient clinics are up 19 percent.