An analysis by the Wall Street Journal of healthcare spend over the past several decades reveals the price of healthcare continues to increase faster than the consumer price index, with health spending primarily driven by hospital and physician services.
In 2012, spending on hospital care accounted for a little more than 30% of U.S. health spending. While hospital care makes up the highest percentage of health spending, it has declined from a high of about 40% in 1980.
Physician services accounted for about 23% of spending in 2012. It is down from a high of close to 25% in 1990.
Nursing care spend has been on the rise these past several decades. It accounted for just 5% of U.S. health spending in 1960. In 2012, it’s around 13%.
Dental services have been steadily slipping, down from more than 7% in 1960 to about 4% in 2012.
Medical equipment, both durable and nondurable, has seen a sharp decline. In 1960, it accounted for roughly 8.5% of U.S. health spending. In 2012, that figure is closer to 3.5%.
Another interesting statistic to note in WSJ’s analysis is the change in emergency-department spending per visit. In 2010, the average spend per visit for all patients was $969. This is a significant increase from 2000, which had an average per visit spend of $546 (in 2010 dollars).