Health Sector Trend Report, February 2017

Trend Reports | February 28, 2017

In this February 2017 report, spending estimates are available through December 2016, while prices and labor are available through January 2017. For the first time, we also examine new Advance QSS data for indications of Q4 2016 spending ahead of the full QSS release in March 2017.

Following are highlights from this month's report:

  • New data result in substantial revisions to individual components of health spending but these were offsetting and our overall estimate for 2016 remains at 5.4% growth.
  • The prescription drug component of health spending grew by 5.0% in 2016, but only 3.6% in Q4 2016. 
  • Health services price growth remains low at 1.4% for Q4 and 1.2% for 2016, while prescription drug price growth has accelerated from 3.3% in Q1 to 6.4% in Q4 (averaging 4.8% for 2016).
  • Benchmark revisions reduced the estimated rate of growth in health jobs during most of 2015 and all of 2016.

Download the full report to view additional detail and analysis.

About Altarum's Health Sector Trend Reports

With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Altarum provides analysis of key trends in health care spending, prices, utilization, and employment. These reports make direct use of the Quarterly Services Survey (QSS), the timeliest source of detailed, survey-based spending information for health care services, which account for more than 70% of national health spending.

These trend reports are related to, but distinct from, Altarum's Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs, and were published monthly prior to Q1 2018.


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