March 13, 2018
Question Why is health care spending in the United States so much greater than in other high-income countries?
Findings In 2016, the United States spent nearly twice as much as 10 high-income countries on medical care and performed less well on many population health outcomes. Contrary to some explanations for high spending, social spending and health care utilization in the United States did not differ substantially from other high-income nations. Prices of labor and goods, including pharmaceuticals and devices, and administrative costs appeared to be the main drivers of the differences in spending.
Meaning Efforts targeting utilization alone are unlikely to reduce the growth in health care spending in the United States; a more concerted effort to reduce prices and administrative costs is likely needed.