Healthcare spending hit $4.3 trillion in 2021: 7 things to know

A new CMS analysis estimated U.S. healthcare spending increased by 2.7 percent to $4.3 trillion in 2021, Health Affairs reported Dec. 14.

Seven things to know, according to the report:

1. The growth rate was markedly slower than both 2020's healthcare spending growth of 10.3 percent and the 38-year-high of 10.7 percent nominal GDP growth over the same period. 

2. Healthcare's share in the broader economy dropped from 19.7 percent in 2020 to 18.3 percent in 2021.

3. Federal healthcare spending, after a 36.8 percent growth in 2020, fell 3.5 percent in 2021, the report said. Lower federal spending for public health and COVID-19 programs were the biggest contributors to slower growth in overall healthcare spending in 2021.

4. The number of uninsured people dropped for a second consecutive year, from 31.2 million in 2020 to 28.5 million in 2021.

5. Medicaid enrollment grew 11.2 percent, its largest jump since 2015.

6. Out-of-pocket spending saw a 10.4 percent spike in 2021, its fastest growth rate since 1985.

7. Hospital spending increased by 4.4 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2021, while use of hospital services increased significantly as pandemic restrictions were lifted.

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