Dec 18, 2018

Hospitals make up the smallest part of out-of-pocket health costs

Data: Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

We spend more on hospital care than any other type of health care service, but hospitals make up the smallest amount of out-of-pocket spending.

Why it matters: That means insurers are passing on a smaller percentage of hospital costs to enrollees, although they indirectly pay for hospital care through premiums.

Between the lines:

  • "A big role of patient cost-sharing is to discourage use of inappropriate or unnecessary services. So much of hospital care is non-discretionary from the perspective of patients," Kaiser Family Foundation's Larry Levitt says.
  • Levitt adds that insurance tends to pay a bigger part of hospital bills versus other services because hospital bills tend to be large, causing patients to blow through their deductible or hit their out-of-pocket maximum.

Go deeper: Surprise hospitals bills are everywhere

Go deeper

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syriaโ€™s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the warโ€™s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow25 mins ago - World

Axios Dashboard

Keep up with breaking news throughout the day โ€” sign up for our alerts.

Fear of coronavirus pandemic escalates

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health