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Health Spending Up Due to Prices, Not Use

by Precise Leads

February 28, 2019

Health care spending has been steadily rising since 2013, even though utilization is flat.

Consumer health care spending reached an all time high in 2017, according to a report put out by Health Care Costs Institute (HCCI). The report analyzed health claims made through employer provided insurance between the years of 2013 to 2017.

The average person spent $5,641 per year on health care, an all-time high. Health care spending on a per person basis has been steadily increasing between 4-5% since 2015. Though spending is at a zenith, utilization of health care services is relatively flat, with a 0.2% decline in usage between 2013-2017.

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The catalyst for the spending growth is the increase in prices, which overall have increased 17.1% since 2013. Since 2013 prices have increased for inpatient services (15.6%), outpatient (18.9%), professional services (12.4%) and prescription drugs (25%).

Specific health services that have seen alarming price increases since 2013 include administered drugs (45%), mental health and substance abuse (35%), emergency room (27%), psychiatry (25%) and immunizations (21%).

Among prescription drugs, the largest price increases since 2013 have been for rheumatoid arthritis (156%), chemotherapy (97%), skin (70%), blood (63%) and hormones (55%).

See the entire HCCI report here.

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