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Health Care Spending Per Person Increased to $5,641 in 2017

Spending per person increased 4.2 percent from 2016 to 2017; utilization increased 0.5 percent

stethoscope with a dollar sign

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- In 2017, health care spending per person reached $5,641, according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) annual Health Care Cost and Utilization Report.

Researchers from the HCCI examined medical and prescription drug spending, utilization, and average prices based on health care claims data from 2013 to 2017 for Americans younger than age 65 years covered by employer-sponsored insurance.

According to the report, per-person spending reached $5,641 in 2017; this number included amounts paid for medical and pharmacy claims. For the second year running, spending per person increased at a rate greater than 4 percent, with a 4.2 percent increase from 2016 to 2017; this rate was slower than the 4.9 percent rate from 2015 to 2016. During the period from 2013 to 2017, there was very little change in overall use of health care services, with a 0.2 percent decline. Utilization increased 0.5 percent in 2017 versus 2016. In 2017, there was a 3.6 percent increase in average prices. Through the five-year period, year-over-year growth decelerated, rising 4.8 percent from 2013 to 2014 and only 3.6 percent from 2016 to 2017; this trend reflected a slowing in average point-of-sale prescription drug prices. In 2017, there was an increase of 2.6 percent in out-of-pocket spending per person.

"We find that spending per-person grew 4.2 percent in 2017, consistent with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid estimates of spending by the privately insured," Niall Brennan, president of the HCCI, said in a statement.

Health Care Cost and Utilization Report

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