Health care spending in the U.S has increased by more than $900 billion from 1996 to 2013 due to the increased prices of health care services, reveals a new report.
Spending on health care in the United States is higher than in any other country and is increasing. Total health spending in 2015 reached $3.2 trillion and accounted for nearly 18 percent of the U.S. economy. Understanding what drives spending increases could inform future policy initiatives to help control growth.
The changes in five factors (population size, population aging, disease prevalence or incidence, service utilization, or service price) related to health care spending (exposure); changes in health care spending in the United States from 1996 to 2013 (outcome).
The authors of this study were Joseph L. Dieleman, Ph.D., of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, Seattle, and coauthors.
The results showed that after adjustments for price inflation, annual health care spending on the six types of care increased from $1.2 trillion to $2.1 trillion between 1996 and 2013 with contributions as follows:
Spending estimates were not separated by payer; data on spending and disease were captured only at the national level.
The study concludes that increase in U.S. health care spending from 1996 through 2013 was largely related to increase in prices for health care services but also related to population growth and aging.
Understanding the factors that affect spending and how they vary across health conditions and types of care may inform policy efforts to contain health care spending.