5 findings on recent healthcare spending, prices

An Altarum analysis released Tuesday examines healthcare spending and prices in 2017.

Here are five analysis findings.

1. Altarum estimated national healthcare spending growth in 2017 at 4.7 percent.

2. The national healthcare spending growth rate rose 4.6 percent in December 2017 compared to the same month the year prior.

3. Specifically, national healthcare spending last December on physician and clinical services increased 5.3 percent compared to December 2016, while hospital care spending in December 2017 grew 3 percent year over year, according to Altarum.

4. The healthcare price growth rate increased 1.5 percent in December 2017 compared to the same month the year prior. In November and October 2017, healthcare price growth rose 1.2 percent and 1 percent, respectively, compared to November and October 2016.

5. Hospital price growth in December 2017 reached a four-year high at 2.2 percent, according to Altarum. The healthcare research and consulting organization attributed the growth to hospital price growth for Medicare beneficiaries reaching its highest in more than seven years at 3.2 percent.


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