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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Health Economics Information Resources: A Self-Study Course

Module 2 - Sources and Characteristics of Information Relating to Health Care Financing in the US  

Spending

Spending on health care services and products reached $1.3 trillion in 2000, which was up 6.9% from the previous year. This $1.3 trillion figure represents 13.2% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or the total value of goods and services produced that year in the U.S.

Looking at this amount in the very broadest context over 13% of the total amount that was spent for all goods and services, or about 1 dollar in every 7, was allocated for health care purchases in 2000.

The $1.3 trillion also means that individuals spent $4,637.00 per capita in 2000 in their quest for “health”. This is well above what other industrialized nations spend. The U.S. ranking for per capita health expenditures consistently exceeds that of other OECD nations, and the rate of increase in per capita health expenditures is relatively high as well.

What are some factors that contribute to the rapidly escalating health expenditures?

Throughout the literature, several determinants are cited repeatedly: an aging population, an increased demand for and use of advanced technology, a decline in enrollment in restrictive, cost-containing health care plans, and rapid spending growth on prescription drugs.

 

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