U.S. Health Gains Slow as Costs Rise

Improvement in the U.S. mortality rate lags those of its peers.

The $2.7 trillion U.S. health-care system lags behind other nations in improving its citizens’ health even as spending has doubled, increasing faster than any other industry over the past decade, researchers said.

The rise in costs have been driven primarily by the price of services, drugs and devices rather than higher demand from an aging population, according to a report today on U.S. spending trends in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The analysis also found that two-thirds of spending is for people younger than 65 with chronic illness, though most of the focus on cutting costs has been centered on the elderly.

Government Costs

The analysis was conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins University, The Boston Consulting Group, Alerion, and the University of Rochester and drew from publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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