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Chart of the Day: How Hospital Charges Soared Over 20 Years

Yuval Rosenberg

Hospital care accounts for a third of total U.S. health care spending, and the costs of that care have soared over the last two decades, according to a new study in Health Affairs.

The study found that, from 2000 to 2012, payments for inpatient hospital stays, emergency department visits and outpatient hospital care grew much faster for privately insured patients that for those on Medicare and Medicaid. The gap between what private insurers and government programs paid hospitals then stabilized or narrowed between 2012 and 2016.

Overall, though, the growth in payment rates for emergency room care in particular stands out, as the Axios chart below highlights.


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