U.S. Health Spending Grew 3.9 Percent In 2011


In 2011, U.S. health care spending grew 3.9 percent to reach $2.7 trillion, marking the third consecutive year of relatively slow growth, according to researchers at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The study, National Health Spending In 2011: Overall Growth Remains Low, But Some Payers And Services Show Signs Of Acceleration, published in the online journal Health Affairs, noted that growth in national health spending closely tracked growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 and 2011, and health spending as a share of GDP remained stable from 2009 through 2011, at 17.9 percent.

Even as growth in spending at the national level has remained stable, personal health care spending growth accelerated in 2011 (from 3.7 percent to 4.1 percent), in part because of faster growth in spending for prescription drugs and physician and clinical services, the report noted. Hospital cost growth decelerated from 4.9 percent in 2010 down to 4.3 percent in 2011. Medicaid spending growth slowed, while growth in Medicare, private health insurance, and out-of-pocket spending accelerated.

For more information, visit http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/1/87.full.

Visit our News Library to read more news stories.