Health care spending is up. Way up. That’s because prices are up — not because we’re using more health care, according to newly published data from the Health Care Cost Institute.
The numbers that matter: Health care spending grew by 4.5% from 2015 to 2016, yet utilization was steady — or, in some cases, actually declined — during the same period. According to HCCI’s analysis, which is limited to employer-sponsored coverage, the increase in spending was driven by steep increases in prices.
Context: Other studies have come to similar conclusions. But one person’s prices are another person’s salary, and that’s why it’s so difficult to find any sort of political mechanism to keep price increases in check.