Well being care spending as a share of GDP rises to 17.7% – Healthcare Economist

In a paper by Martin et al. (2020) in Well being Affairs, CMS’s Workplace of the Actuary (OACT) has its annual well being care spending estimates for 2019. They discovered that well being care spending within the US was $3.Eight trillion in 2019, and improve of 4.7%. The share of the economic system devoted to well being care rose barely, from 17.6% in 2018 to 17.7% in 2019.

What had been the important thing drivers of those rising well being expenditures?

In 2019 sooner progress in spending for hospital care, doctor and scientific companies, and retail purchases of prescribed drugs—which collectively accounted for 61 % of complete nationwide well being spending—was offset primarily by expenditures for the web value of medical health insurance, which had been decrease due to the suspension of the medical health insurance tax in 2019.


The examine discovered that spending on hospitals rose by 6.2%, doctor companies 4.7%, and retail pharmacy prices by 5.7%.

Are rising costs–particularly drug costs–to be blamed?

Excluding hospital costs, the reply is ‘no’. Hospital costs rose by 2.0% and doctor costs rose by a modest 0.8%. Retail pharmacy costs, nevertheless, really fell for the second 12 months in a row.

Retail prescription drug costs decreased 0.Four % in 2019 after a bigger decline of 1.Zero % in 2018 as worth progress slowed for brand-name medication and declined for generic medication.

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