Health Care Costs 101

OK, this is not really social or digital in nature, but it's important. The California HealthCare Foundation has put together Health Care Costs 101, an overview of the latest (2008) national health care spending trends. Why 2008? Because that is the latest available data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Serves (CMS) Office of the Actuary. Thank you to CHCF for putting together this impressive report.  I am a huge fan of the organization - they publish iHealthBeat (a website and free daily newsletter about technology and healthcare) and have supported Amy Tenderich's  Diabetes Mine Design Challenge for the past few years. There are so many interesting statistics I don't know where to start.  Here are a few highlights:

  • In 2008  healthcare spending was $2.3 trillion = 16.2% of GDP = $7,681 per person
  • How is the money spent? Not what you'd expect given all the hoopla about pharma in the press. Only 10% goes toward Rx drugs. The lion's share goes to Hospitals (31%) followed by Physician and Clinical Services (21%).
  • Who pays for all of this? Public sources via federal, state and local governments (Medicare, Medicaid, Medical, etc) account for 47%.  Private sources (private insurance, fee-for-service, etc) contribute 53%.
  • Prescription drug spending grew 3.2%, an all-time low, and the smallest increase of any major health care goods and services category.
  • With the implementation of Medicare’s Part D drug coverage in 2006, a larger share of drug spending is now being paid for by the public sector.  In 2005, government paid for 28% while in 2008 that share rose to 37%.
  • Medicare’s share rose dramatically (from 2% in 2005 to 22% in 2008) as it absorbed drug spending once paid out-of-pocket, by private insurance, or by Medicaid (on behalf of those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare programs).

Definitely review Health Care Costs 101 - CHCF has made the data so easy to digest. Plus,  there are great charts and graphs you can show in your own presentations!