Health Economics: 2018-19 edition of Health Care Trends
Deceleration of health care spending occurred almost across the board for many types of services and in many programs, which attributed to leveling-off of spending in 2016. However, growth rate for health spending continues to increase faster than gross domestic product (GDP). Increases in employees’ cost-sharing payments for health care services have far outpaced wage growth. Greater cost exposure will result in increased numbers of underinsured patients burdened with medical debt. Rising rates of preventable illnesses will continue to impact the nation’s health and economic productivity. Health care industry consolidation activity has increased steadily since 2009 and is taking on a variety of forms. Growth in price and utilization of pharmaceuticals has varied over the past two decades. One in four people taking prescriptions drugs report difficulty affording their medication. Costly new specialty drugs were a major driver of a recent spike in health spending. Polling results indicate bipartisan support for government action to lower prescription drug costs. Communication between the FDA and the public is an essential component of preventing and mitigating drug shortages. This report by the AMA’s Council on Long Range Planning and Development analyzes data on health care spending, consolidation in health care, coverage and access to care, prescription drug costs and drug shortages to formulate predicted impacts of these trends for patients, physicians, medical students, and policymakers. Should you have technical questions, please contact the AMA Unified Service Center at 800-621-8335. Should you have questions regarding the content, please contact Susan Close at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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