At These Prices, Who Can Resist Consuming Health Care Services?

Staff portrait of Kathy Hempstead

Katherine Hempstead, PhD, MA, director and senior program officer, leads RWJF's work on health insurance coverage.

New data for the first two months of 2015 suggest the increased rate of growth in health spending noted in late 2014 has persisted into early 2015.

Kathy Hempstead explores the data on the Altarum Center for Sustainable Health Spending’s April monthly trend report, finding health care spending in January and February 2015 is 6.5 percent higher than in 2013, a continuation of trends observed in late 2014.

However, the increased rate of growth in spending may not last, and will likely level off at a new and higher spending level due to various drivers—expanded coverage and increased use of new specialty drugs—leveling off.

 

About the series

Kathy Hempstead provides commentary on the Altarum Center for Sustainable Health Spending’s monthly trend reports. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, these trend reports provide a monthly summary of key trends in health care spending, prices, utilization, and employment.