Health Care Spending Up 7.2% in Q1 2015, Compared With Q1 2014
U.S. health care spending increased by 7.2% in the first quarter of 2015, compared with the same period last year, driven in large part by higher spending among hospitals, according to data from the Census Bureau's Quarterly Services Survey, Modern Healthcare reports.
According to Modern Healthcare, the new data show that health care spending has been increasing at a higher rate than previously estimated. For example, the new numbers surpass the 5.4% annual growth reported last month by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, as well as the 6.6% first-quarter growth estimated by the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.
Increase Spurred by Hospital Spending
The data show that hospital spending grew by 9.2% year over year.
Meanwhile, the survey found that in Q1 2015:
- Ambulatory health care spending increased by 5.9%;
- Diagnostic lab spending grew by 9.1%; and
- Outpatient center spending jumped by 9.4%.
While health care spending in Q1 2015 was up 7.2% compared with the previous year's quarter, the figure was 0.4% lower than spending in Q4 2014.
According to Modern Healthcare, the data indicate that the historically low spending growth rates in recent years are officially over in the health care sector (Herman, Modern Healthcare, 6/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.