Health Care Spending Up
Health care spending on U.S. residents with private health insurance increased by 7.4% in 2005, in part because of increased spending on hospital and physician services, according to a study conducted by the Center for Studying Health System Change, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports. In addition, the study finds that health care spending increased by 7.7% in the first quarter of 2006.
The study also finds:
- Total spending on hospital services increased by 9% in 2005, compared with 8.5% in 2004;
- Spending on inpatient hospital services increased by 7.1% in 2005, compared with 5.3% in 2004, and spending on outpatient services by increased 10.4% in 2005, compared with 11.2% in 2005;
- Use of inpatient and outpatient hospital services increased by 4.5% in 2005, compared with 1.3% in 2004;
- Spending on physician services increased by 7.1% in 2005, compared with 6% in 2004, an indication of increased use of such services;
- Spending on home health care and ambulance services increased by 12% in 2005, compared with 6.3% in 2004; and
- Spending on prescription drugs increased by 4.9% in 2005, compared with 8.3% in 2004 and 18.4% in 1999.