Health Care Spending Bounces Back but Still Falls 1% Year Over Year

Although health care utilization started to rebound toward the end of 2020, spending on health care services was down by 1.0% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Among health care facilities, outpatient care centers and physicians’ offices saw drops in revenue year-to-date, while revenue for laboratories and nursing homes went up. The analysis also compared health spending in the quarter before, the quarter of and the four quarters following the beginning of economic recessions, and found that the COVID-19 recession is the first of the past five during which health spending has decreased year over year.

NOTES: Health services spending does not include spending on social assistance. The first quarter after the beginning of each recession analyzed was the third quarter of 1981 for the 1981-1982 recession, the third quarter of 1990 for the 1990s recession, the first quarter of 2001 for the early 2000s recession, the fourth quarter of 2007 for the 2007-2009 recession, and the first quarter of 2020 for the COVID-19 recession.

SOURCE: “How Have Health Spending and Utilization Changed During the Coronavirus Pandemic?” Peterson-Kaiser Family Foundation Health System Tracker. Visit https://bit.ly/3qHQyD3.

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong produces infographics and data stories on health insurance and specialty pharmacy for AIS Health. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting. Before joining AIS in 2018, she worked at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese.

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