Health Sector Trend Report, December 2017

Trend Reports | December 28, 2017

This quarterly report examines current trends in U.S. health care spending, prices, utilization, and employment. Highlights include:

  • This month, CMS released its official health spending data for 2016 and showed growth slowing to 4.3%. HSEI shows 2017 growth averaging 4.7% through Q3, but downward revisions seem probable.
  • Official CMS estimates of prescription drug spending are adjusted for manufacturer rebates, while BEA growth rates reflect pre-rebate spending.
  • Health care price growth has averaged only 1.1% over the past four months (through Nov 2017), below the 1.8% recent growth in economy-wide prices.
  • Through November, health job growth has averaged 24,000 in 2017, compared with 32,000 in 2016. 

Download the full report to view additional detail and analysis.

About Altarum's Quarterly Health Sector Trend Reports

With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Altarum provides a quarterly 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. Each quarter, when new QSS data are released (March, June, September, and December), we publish this report.

These trend reports are related to, but distinct from, Altarum's Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs, which are issued every month.

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