Healthcare Costs

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Healthcare Costs

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Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts

The U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any other developed nation. It will soon spend close to 20% of its GDP on health—significantly more than the percentage spent by major Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations.

What is driving costs so high? As this series of charts shows, Americans aren’t buying more health care overall than other countries. But what they are buying is increasingly expensive. Among the reasons is the troubling fact that few people in health care, from consumers to doctors to hospitals to insurers, know the true cost of what they are buying and selling.

Providers, manufacturers and middlemen operate in an opaque market that…

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  Why Americans Spend So Much on Health Care—In 12 Charts

Prices are hidden behind insurance deals, hospital consolidation pushes up costs and the health sector is a growing power in the economy.

Clear Health Costs

We’re working to bring transparency to the health-care marketplace. By building a platform that focuses on price information for medical procedures, we are empowering consumers to make informed decisions about the costs of their medical care and coverage.

Health Care Cost Institute

HCCI is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a public-interest mission. Its overarching goal is to provide complete, accurate, unbiased information about health care utilization and costs to better understand the US health care system. Through research and access to a large health insurance claims database, HCCI seeks to offer answers to critical questions about health care spending and utilization for the entire privately insured health population.

Dartmouth Atlas Project

For more than 20 years, the Dartmouth Atlas Project has documented glaring variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States. The project uses Medicare data to provide information and analysis about national, regional, and local markets, as well as hospitals and their affiliated physicians. This research has helped policymakers, the media, health care analysts and others improve their understanding of our health care system and forms the foundation for many of the ongoing efforts to improve health and health systems across America.

National health spending has grown at historically low rates following the deep recession that ended in 2009. Whether this slowdown stems from broader economic factors, structural changes in the health system, or some combination of the two, is a key issue for policymakers, particularly with major elements of the Affordable Care Act taking effect in 2014.

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