2021 US Nationwide Well being Expenditures – Healthcare Economist


A paper in Well being Affairs by Martin, Hartman, Benson, Catlin, and The Nationwide Well being Expenditure Accounts Crew (2022) finds that nationwide well being expenditures (NHE) rose however declined as a share of gross home product (GDP).

Well being care spending within the US grew 2.7 p.c to achieve $4.3 trillion in 2021, a a lot slower fee than the rise of 10.3 p.c seen in 2020. The slower fee of progress in 2021 was pushed by a 3.5 p.c decline in federal authorities expenditures for well being care after a spike in 2020 that occurred largely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside this decline, using medical items and providers elevated in 2021. The share of the financial system accounted for by the well being sector fell from 19.7 p.c in 2020 to 18.3 p.c in 2021, but it surely was nonetheless increased than the 17.6 p.c share in 2019.

For these with out entry, a weblog put up summarizes the findings right here and there may be protection elsewhere right here. As said above, the decline in well being care prices (as a share of GDP) is basically to a discount in COVID-19 spending and a rise within the financial system.

Digging into some extra element, we see that institutional providers make the biggest share of well being care spending. Particularly, hospital care made up 31% of price, a broad “different” class 23%, doctor providers 20% and pharmaceuticals 9%. Administrative prices from authorities and well being insurers made up 7% of prices which is comparatively excessive by worldwide requirements.

How did well being care spending fluctuate by insurance coverage sort? Healthcare Dive reviews:

Non-public medical insurance grew 5.8% in 2021 and remained accountable for the biggest share of complete well being expenditures by payer sort, at 28%.
Medicare spending grew 8.4%, whereas Medicaid progress remained typically steady yr over yr at 9.2%.
Out-of-pocket spending jumped 10.4%, the quickest fee of progress since 1985, in keeping with the evaluation, as shoppers spent extra on dental providers and sturdy medical tools.

Whereas the decline in well being care spending as a share of GDP could also be thought-about a very good factor, it’s unclear if this development is sustainable given the post-COVID changes within the well being care sector and broader financial system. It will likely be fascinating to see whether or not 2022 sees one other decline in well being care spending, which may very well be resulting from authorities reimbursement charges lagging behind inflation within the broader. Nonetheless, the info is but to be launched for 2022.


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