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National health spending continues to grow more slowly than GDP, falling Medicare price growth pulls health care inflation lower, and health employment grows moderately and mostly in ambulatory care settings.
In this month’s data, we incorporate CMS health spending projections that show health spending grew by 4.2% in 2021; health care price and utilization growth remains low; and hiring slows in March.
National health spending was lower in January 2022 than in December 2021; the gap between health care and economywide price growth sets a record; and health care hiring picks up in February 2022.
National health spending grew by 3.4% in 2021 including pandemic-related federal government support, a jump in health care prices paid by private insurance is offset by a Medicare price slowdown, and health care employment started 2022 with modest growth.
Spending growth since the start of the pandemic reflects significant federal government support; price growth has picked up but remains well below economywide inflation; and employment grew slowly in 2021 and only in ambulatory care settings.
In this month’s Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs, we incorporate new CMS health expenditure data for 2020 and show the impact of federal spending on near-record growth, while healthcare prices rise slightly and 2021's labor trends persist.
With high GDP growth, health spending stabilizes near 17.5% of GDP, health care price growth remains low amid continued increases in economy-wide inflation, and jobs in ambulatory care continue to grow amid strong economy-wide job growth.