Health care costs continue to rise across the spectrum, but the largest change in growth of expenditures was for public care and services for seniors, including home care, new data shows.
The data is part of the U.S. News & World Report Health Care Index, which tracks movements in health care expenditures, medical costs, insurance coverage, and other health care categories in the U.S. since 2000.
The index shows a steady trend upward between 2000 and 2013, with the largest components — expenditures and employment – driving that trend.
“As with many other factors in the index, the largest change in growth of expenditures was on public care and services for seniors,” U.S. News writes. “Prescription drug expenditures for Medicare skyrocketed in 2005, due to the implementation of the Prescription Drug Act, which increased coverage for seniors. Medicare services, dental and home care showed the greatest changes since 2000, followed by out-of-pocket expenses for home care.”
Breaking the costs down by medical category, the highest expenditures were on hospitals, which received more than $9 billion in 2013, more than double what was spent in 2000. Doctors were the second-highest expenditure, costing nearly $6 billion. Following those two categories, in order, were spending on prescription drugs, care at retirement communities, dental care and home care.
Such spending, the Health Care Expenditures Index shows, comes from public and private insurance, industry spending and costs paid out of Americans’ own pockets.
To access the index, click here.
Written by Emily Study