Healthcare Costs

Trends in Health Expenditures, United States

The National Center for Health Statistics is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and provides a wealth of credible data and statistics that are frequently updated pertaining to all aspects of healthcare costs and expenditure trends. This site includes a large number of data sets and graphs available to view or download.  Various options for filtering allow users to find what they are looking for at this site.

National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA)

The site provides official estimates of total health care spending in the United States. Dating back to 1960, the NHEA measures annual U.S. expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care. This is one of the best starting points for researching or understanding health expenditures in the United States.

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP)

Sponsored and managed by several divisions of the Federal government, HCUP is the nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital data, including information on in-patient stays, ambulatory surgery and services visits, and emergency department encounters. HCUP enables researchers and users to study health care delivery and patient outcomes over time, and at the national, regional, State, and community levels.

While geared more towards researchers, the site includes useful content for any user including infographics and “Fast-Stats” on key topics such as trends in various types of hospital stays.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Data Resource Center

This site provides a wide range of resources in online, searchable databases pertaining to quality, costs and utilization of health services. Includes Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (Nation’s most comprehensive source of hospital data) plus the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (Set of surveys of families and individuals, medical providers, and employers nationwide).

Financial Burden of Medical Care: A Family Perspective

This downloadable data brief from the National Center for Health Statistics utilizes data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to provide key findings on the financial burden medical care has on American families. The brief reports that 1 in 5 persons was in a family having problems paying medical bills, and 1 in 10 persons was in a family with medical bills that they were unable to pay at all.

Peterson-Kaiser Health System Dashboard

This site includes a rich set of data from credible sources that allow users to explore a variety of indicators of health spending, quality of care, access, and health outcomes. Provides great visuals and infographics that care be downloaded and used (with attribution). While easy to use, the site also includes a brief tutorial video.

Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America

This report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) identifies and reports on three major imperatives for change to improve the quality and effectiveness of healthcare: the rising complexity of modern health care, unsustainable cost increases, and outcomes below the system’s potential.

Includes online access to full report plus downloadable resources including briefing deck, infographics with recommendations.h 

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM)

NIHCM is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to transforming health care through evidence and collaboration. Develops original research and content in collaboration with a network of partners in federal and state governments, public health, advocacy, academia, media and the private sector.  Site includes summaries of studies, topical webinars and other content related to health costs and reform.