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At $3.66 trillion (seasonally adjusted annual rate), national health spending in June 2018 was 5.2 percent higher than it was in June 2017, and the health spending share of gross domestic product (GDP) was 17.9 percent.
New research from Altarum finds that spending and price growth among the privately-insured population accelerated in 2017 and early 2018 relative to Medicare and Medicaid, despite very low growth in private insurance enrollment.
While earlier data suggested a recent acceleration, with revised data, we estimate spending growth of 4.7% for the first four months of 2018, barely above the 4.6% rate seen for all of 2017.
In April 2018, the health care sector added 24,400 new jobs, consistent with the 12-month average of 25,500 new jobs per month, but enough to propel the health share of total U.S. jobs to 10.76%, a new all-time high. Hospitals added 8,000 jobs in April, and ambulatory settings such as physician offices and home health added 16,900 new jobs.
In March 2018, the Health Care Price Index rose by 2.2% compared to the previous year, fractionally higher than in February, and the highest rate since January 2012. Driving overall price acceleration is high hospital price growth of 3.7%, barely down from 3.8% in February—a more than 8-year high.
Altarum's latest Health Sector Economic Indicators provide a second look at spending for the entire 2017 calendar year and suggest that national health spending grew by 4.6% from its 2016 level.
The cost of the country’s opioid crisis is estimated to have exceeded $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017, and is projected to cost an additional $500 billion by 2020, according to analysis released today by Altarum, a nonprofit health research and consulting institute.
National health spending rose 4.7 percent in 2017, slightly above GDP, but keeping its share of GDP at 18 percent, according to Altarum’s latest Health Sector Economic Indicators Briefs.