National Health Spending Recovered in August After Pandemic-Driven Dropoff

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, national health spending dropped significantly starting in March 2020, relative to 2019 levels. But by August, spending levels bounced back to normal, with just a 0.2% increase year over year, according to a report by the nonprofit research and consulting organization Altarum. Almost all major health spending categories saw decreases in August compared to the same time last year, while expenditures on prescription drugs and home health care went up 5.5% and 7.0%, respectively. Spending on prescription drugs is the only category in which August spending exceeds its January level, recovering to be 2.6% higher than in January.

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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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