Health Care Costs: Americans Are Still Spending More for Less

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The United States continues to spend more per capita on health care than any other developed country — not for better medical care, but because of higher prices. That’s according to results of a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and published in Health Affairs.

The researchers determined that elevated health care costs in the U.S. result from higher:

  • Drug prices
  • Salaries for doctors and nurses
  • Hospital administration costs
  • Prices for many medical services

The researchers say that the trend of higher U.S. health care prices has continued since a renowned study, “It's the Prices, Stupid: Why the United States Is so Different From Other Countries,” was published in 2003. The Johns Hopkins study, an update to that earlier research, was based on a similar analysis of health care and costs in developed countries that are members in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including the U.S.

From 2003 to 2016, the researchers noted a widening of the gap between what public and private insurers pay for the same health care services and found that health spending has grown faster in the United States than in any other developed country, despite attempts to control health care costs.

Sourced from: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health