Making progress on improving health care quality and value requires detailed, longitudinal data that tracks health sector spending, employment, and prices. States in particular need these data to assess their own health sectors, track changes over time, and compare their progress to national trends. Detailed, up-to-date health sector data allow states to identify outlier sectors, payers and components; assess how health care is evolving via growth rates; and provide benchmark information to evaluate the effectiveness of state policy interventions. While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provide national-level health expenditure data annually, state-level estimates are released far more infrequently and with a greater lag—at the time of writing state-level health spending estimates are only available through 2014.
To help close this gap in understanding for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Altarum applied its Health Sector Economic Indicator (HSEI) framework that benchmarks to and builds on official CMS data using other data sources to estimate current health sector spending. By incorporating data from CMS, the Commonwealth’s All-Payer Claims Database, and other public sources, we provide estimates through 2019 of the Commonwealth’s health spending, labor, and price trends, including assessments of spending by major component and payer, employment trends, and trends in private-sector health insurance costs.
Select major findings from the report include:
A variety of other data, assessments, and insights from Virginia’s health sector are available in the report, including comparisons of the Commonwealth’s health sector to national trends and interpretations of these changes over time. Detailed data sources, methodologies, and assumptions are included in a report appendix. The authors would like to thank the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association for their support of this work and the Virginia Health Information organization for their assistance and for providing data from the All-Payer Claims Database.
Read the report “Tracking Virginia’s Health Care Sector through 2019.”