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National Health Care Expenditures, 2019

A new report from the AMA provides a detailed look at the official U.S. health care spending estimates through 2019 using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It also presents preliminary estimates of 2020 health spending from Altarum, a private research organization that focuses on health policy.

Here is a recap of some of the report's data:

  • Health spending was 17.7% of GDP in 2019 and increased by 4.6% to $3.8 trillion
    ($11,582 per capita).

  • Spending in hospital care (6.2%) and prescription drugs (5.7%) grew faster than physician services (4.2%) in 2019.

  • In 2019, spending growth in Medicare (6.7%) and out-of-pocket payments (4.6%) reached their highest rates in the last decade while private health insurance (3.7%) and Medicaid (2.9%) were on a downswing.

  • The federal government financed the largest share of health spending (29.0%) in 2019 as it has since 2015; households were the second largest financiers (28.4%).

  • Preliminary estimates suggest an unprecedented decline in 2020 national health spending driven by decreases in spending for most personal health expenditure categories (including a 7.0% decline in hospital care spending and 4.2% decline in physician and clinical services spending).

We hope you find these data helpful in building a comprehensive understanding of national health spending. We will continue to keep you informed as we get updated spending data for 2020 and into 2021.


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