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July 28, 2022

Around the nation: US health care spending surpassed $3 trillion in 2019

Daily Briefing

    Health care spending in the United States surpassed $3 trillion in 2019, according to a new report from ValuePenguin, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Minnesota, Missouri, and New York.

    • District of Columbia: President Joe Biden on Wednesday ended his Covid-19 isolation after he tested negative for the coronavirus Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. On Wednesday, White House physician Kevin O'Connor issued an update on the president's condition, saying that the president's symptoms were almost "completely resolved." President Biden, who completed a five-day course of Paxlovid, did not have a fever and had not taken Tylenol in the past 36 hours, O'Connor wrote. "Given these reassuring factors, the president will discontinue his strict isolation measures," O'Connor added. "Back to the Oval [Office]," President Biden said in a tweet after the White House released Wednesday's update confirming that he was able to end his isolation. "Thanks to Doc for the good care, and to all of you for your support," President Biden's tweet said. (Megerian/Superville, AP/Washington Post, 7/27)
    • Minnesota/Missouri: Mayo Clinic and Mercy are partnering to improve care management through data and technology innovations. Under the partnership, the health systems will use "the most current data science and years of deidentified patient outcomes to find diseases earlier and start patients on paths to better health more quickly." According to John Halamka, an emergency medicine physician and president of the Mayo Clinic Platform, "This unique collaboration will eliminate the barriers to innovation in healthcare by bringing together data and human expertise through a new way of working together. By working together, we will be able to find the best paths for treatment and diagnosis to benefit patients everywhere. Our union has the potential to transform medicine worldwide." Separately, John Mohart, a cardiologist and president of Mercy communities noted that the partnership gives the health systems "a unique opportunity today to transform mountains of clinical experience into actionable information that optimizes patient care." (Wicklund, HealthLeaders Media, 7/26)
    • New York: ValuePenguin this week released a report that found that U.S. health care spending increased by 14.3% between 2016 and 2019, surpassing $3 trillion for the first time. For the report, researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Health Care Satellite Account. They looked at data from 2016 and 2019, comparing the total cost, cost per case, and number of episodes across 61 disease categories. In 2019, health care spending topped out at $3.07 trillion—up from $2.69 trillion in 2016. According to the report, there were spending increases in 55 of the 61 disease categories. "More costs—including drugs and administrative services—are shifting back to the consumer in the form of higher premiums, copays and deductibles," said ValuePenguin health care expert Robin Townsend. "Since salary growth isn't keeping up with rising health care expenses, some consumers accrue medical debt. These financial burdens cause people to delay or skip medical treatment, raising health care expenses." (Cass, Becker's Hospital Review, 7/26; Davis, ValuePenguin report, 7/25)

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