U.S. Health Spending Patterns Are Shifting, and Why That Matters

eAlert 9de67ba8-c53c-424b-be19-9decb4aceeea

<p>New technologies and ongoing changes in the way health care is delivered are likely to change where our health care dollars go in the future, a new Commonwealth Fund–supported study finds. </p><p>Writing in the new issue of <em>Health Affairs</em>, New York University’s Sherry Glied and colleagues report that U.S. expenditures on hospitals, physicians’ offices, and outpatient care centers rose from $800 billion in 1997 to $1.4 trillion in 2012. Just under half of these expenditures went toward physician and nurse salaries and other labor costs. But goods and services—like pharmaceuticals and medical devices, as well as accounting and engineering services—are the fastest-growing spending category, combining for one-third of total spending in 2012.</p>
<p>Glied and her coauthors say that continued tracking of how spending is allocated across the health system, and how this has changed over time, will be key to the development of effective cost-control strategies for U.S. health care.</p>

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/newsletters/ealerts/2016/jul/where-the-money-goes Read about the study