Health care spending passes $10,000 per person in 2016

Health care spending reached $10,348 per person in 2016, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s National Health Expenditure 2016 report. Overall, health care spending in the United States increased 4.3 percent to reach $3.3 trillion. The overall share of gross domestic product (GDP) related to health care spending was 17.9 percent in 2016, up from 17.7 percent in 2015.

The report found the following:

  • Hospital care (32 percent share): Spending for hospital care increased 4.7 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2016, slower than the 5.7 percent growth in 2015. The slower growth in 2016 was driven by the slower growth in the use and intensity of services.
  • Physician and clinical services (20 percent share): Spending on physician and clinical services increased 5.4 percent to $664.9 billion in 2016. Although growth for physician and clinical services decelerated slightly in 2016 from the (5.9 percent in 2015), it outpaced the growth in all other goods and services categories.
  • Prescription drugs (10 percent share): Growth in retail prescription drug spending slowed in 2016, increasing 1.3 percent to $328.6 billion. The slower growth in 2016 follows two years of strong growth in 2014 and 2015, 12.4 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively. Growth slowed in 2016 primarily due to fewer new drug approvals, slower growth in brand-name drug spending as spending for hepatitis C drugs declined, and a decline in spending for generic drugs as price growth slowed.
  • Other professional services (3 percent share): Spending for other professional services reached $92.0 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.7 percent. This was a deceleration from the 5.9 percent growth in 2015. Spending in this category includes establishments of independent health practitioners (except physicians and dentists) that primarily provide services such as physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, or chiropractic medicine.

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