Healthcare Sector Indicators and Insights

This is mostly a C&P with editing involved. Taken from Altarum Health Sector Economic Indicators, and “Insights from Monthly National Health Spending Data through December 2021.” I have added the link Altarum to return to the original article.

Without the additional government spending covering Covid costs and a recession during 2020 -2021, overall healthcare spending would have been higher.

The nation is also having one Covid issue which is being construed due to a lack of accurate reporting. “Republicans” (as told by McConnell) have been holding up the compromise (BBB) $10 billion to fund Covid assistance until there is a vote on Title 42. A vote to enforce the racist (SPLC) Steven Miller’s Title 42 which Republicans support is being pushed. Whether there is a vote or not, Title 42 or portions of it will still be blocked. Republicans are covering up by not explaining the entire situation as usual in order to place Biden in a bad light.

The problem with 100% enforcement is in the Courts. Two US District Courts are blocking enforcement or portions of it (returning immigrants to their countries or safe places). Another court ruled today, Monday.

With Regard to healthcare costs

Including federal government support, health spending grew by 3.4% in 2021.

Some things to point out.

  • National health spending for 2021 grew by 3.4%. This reflects increased government support in response to the COVID-induced 2020 recession and a lower level of such support in 2021. Taking support dollars out of both 2020 and 2021 estimates, spending growth from 2020 to 2021 would have been an increased 8.4%, while the economy continued to recover.
  • With increased federal government assistance, health spending fell below January 2020 levels only in March 2020. Without assistance, spending would have remained below January 2020 levels through-out most of 2020 and through February 2021.
  • Including federal support, health spending in December 2021 represented 18.8% of GDP. It was 17.8% of GDP excluding the additional government expenditures. For all of 2021, health spending represented 18.5% of GDP with support and would have been 18.1% without it.

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And my thoughts? Hopefully, this response in government aid comes from a lack of such being available in 2008 much of it due to Republicans and McConnell blocking aid and attempting to make Obama a one-term president. These were learned lessons from 2008.

And yes, I am touting Joe Biden for this additional aid. The aid did save the economy, shortening a recession through its stimulus. The aid uplifted millions of people lacking healthcare and monetary resources to survive. Biden learned and remembered the lessons of 2008. Only today, can citizens walk about whining and complaining about a small piece of material covering the mouth and nose to slow and prevent the spread of Covid. A terrible, terrible inconvenience.

Growth in prices paid by private insurance is offset by a Medicare price slowdown

  • Overall Health Care Price Index (HCPI) growth remained the same as the month prior, at 2.4% in January, staying within its tight range near 2.0% year-over-year growth, the trend seen since April 2021.
  • Health care price growth remains lower than expected given rapid increases in economy wide inflation. January CPI growth was 7.5% and PPI growth was 9.7%. Each being a near series-record rate.
  • Prices paid by private insurance for health care services increased somewhat in January to 3.2% year-over-year, while Medicare and Medicaid price growth was significantly slower, at 1.1% and 1.6% respectively.
  • Hospital care prices were the fastest growing major category, at 2.9% year over year, while prescription drug prices increased 1.3% after a long period of zero and negative price growth throughout 2021.
  • Our estimate of implicit utilization (spending growth minus changes in prices) shows overall health sector utilization increased by 8.2% in December 2021. The twelve-month average increase of 2.6%.  

2022 begins with modest health employment Growth following a familiar pattern 

  • Health care employment grew modestly in January 2022, adding 18,000 jobs. As seen throughout 2021, most of the growth was in ambulatory care settings which added 14,700 jobs. Hospitals added 3,400 jobs and nursing and residential care settings were flat (-100 jobs).
  • The annual benchmark revisions to the BLS Current Employment Statistics survey (source of most of the figures in this brief) did not substantially change the story of recovery from the pandemic-induced drop in employment varying by setting of care. Revisions added 52,000 jobs to the health employment total which remains at 378,000 jobs. 2.3% below the level of February 2020, the pre-pandemic peak. 
  • By setting, revisions added 56,000 jobs to the estimate of ambulatory care employment, now at 1.7% above the pre-pandemic level. Revisions lowered the hospital employment estimate by 14,000 jobs. This setting remains 2% below the pre-pandemic peak. Revisions added 9,500 jobs to nursing and residential care employment. These settings are still down 409,000 jobs or 12.1% since February 2020.
  • The economy added 449,000 jobs in January 2022, surpassing consensus expectations. About 93% of the 20.5 million-job drop in employment seen early in the pandemic has been regained. There remains a deficit of 2.87 million jobs compared to February 2020. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.0%. The deficit correlates to the difference in Participation rate in January 2020 and February 2020. U3 is not accounting for this.

Altarum’s Methodology

The implications are here. I am going to leave this for now as I have more investigation to do.

References and more Information which I may talk about if I can get to them

Health spending grew 3.4% in 2021, report finds: 7 things to know (

February 2022 Health Sector Economic Indicators Briefs | Altarum

HSEI-Spend-Brief_Feb_2022.pdf (

HSEI-Price-Brief_February_2022.pdf (