Surprisingly little is known about how resources are spent on US health care. Most government and academic research focuses on a single payer, age group, or set of health conditions. Reconciling how health care spending varies across health condition, age and sex group, type of care, and time can help health system researchers and policymakers identify the drivers of spending increases. Health burden can only be properly addressed if resources, technology, and innovation are allocated with an in-depth understanding of the current health spending landscape.
US health care spending increases each year and accounts for more than 17% of the US economy. Despite the size and growth of this spending, little is known about how spending on each condition varies by age and across time. IHME’s Disease Expenditure project seeks to answer these fundamental questions of US health care spending in a manner relevant to policymakers, health system administrators, and patients.
The IHME Disease Expenditure project is an extended effort to measure and assess US health spending by simultaneously splitting personal health care spending into 155 conditions, age and sex groups, and type of care from 1996 to 2013. The expectation is that once this has been done at the US national level, similar subnational and international endeavors can be pursued to better inform policymaking at those levels.
The IHME Disease Expenditure project builds from the Global Burden of Disease to arrive at a set of collectively exhaustive and mutually exclusive conditions specific to US health spending. One hundred eighty-three data sources and 2.9 billion patient records are used to fill in the demographic and epidemiological information needed to understand the spending and time trends associated with each condition.