The United States spends more on health care than any other country. Health care spending on children grew 56% between 1996 and
2013, with the most money spent in 2013 on inpatient well-newborn care,
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and well-dental care, revealed an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.
Joseph L. Dieleman of the University of Washington, Seattle,
and coauthors used the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Disease Expenditure 2013 project database to estimate health care
spending. Annual estimates were done for each year from 1996 through
2013 and estimates were reported using inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars.
‘Health care spending on children grew 56% between 1996 and 2013, with the most money spent in 2013 on inpatient well-newborn care, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and well-dental care.’
- Spending on children's health care increased from $149.6
billion in 1996 to $233.5 billion in 2013, driven by growth in
ambulatory and inpatient spending and growth in well-newborn and ADHD
- In 2013, the three conditions with the most health care
spending were inpatient well-newborn care ($27.9 billion), ADHD ($20.6
billion) and well-dental care ($18.2 billion). Asthma had the fourth
largest level of spending at $9 billion.
- Over time, health care spending per child has increased from $1,915 in 1996 to $2,777 in 2013.
The study has some limitations, including that it reflects only
direct health care spending and does not account for indirect costs such
as child care costs and parents' lost wages.
"The next step should be analyzing the factors driving increased
health care spending and determining whether changes in particular
subcategories of spending have been associated with improvements in
processes or outcomes. It is crucial to understand whether spending
increases have been appropriate or misguided and how we might target
spending increases and reductions now and in the future," the article