Hospital care spending hits 11-year low: 5 things to know

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

Spending on U.S. hospital care in April hit its lowest point since December 2008 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent analysis by consulting firm Altarum. 

Five things to know:

1. Hospital care spending was $746 billion in April, a decline from $1.25 trillion in April 2019.

2. Physician and clinical services spending also fell to $442 billion in April, a decline from $748 billion in 2019. This is the lowest amount spent since November 2006.

3. In total, national health spending this April was 24.3 percent lower than in April 2019. The spending has dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.9 trillion. In April 2019, it was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $3.8 trillion,the lowest amount since July 2013.

4. Prescription drug spending saw an increase, from $355 billion in April 2019 to $373.2 billion in April 2020.

5. Despite record declines in healthcare spending in April, Altarum estimated that a "modest reversal" of the decline would be recorded in May, when the economy began to recover. 


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