Health Sector Trend Report, September 2018 

Trend Reports | October 05, 2018 | Ani Turner

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

  • In Q2 2018, US health spending was 5.0% higher than in Q2 2017, bringing the growth rate for the first half of 2018 to 4.8%, year over year.
  • Health spending by private payers has grown faster than public payers since 2016.
  • Removing the effects of enrollment growth, especially in Medicaid, reveals an even larger divergence between private and public payer health spending growth rates.
  • Health care price growth remains below 2.0%, and below economy-wide inflation.
  • Health sector job growth has stabilized at around 2.0% since Q2 2017.

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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