Physician and hospital spending sink to lowest point in more than 10 years

June 16, 2020 / Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Hospital and physician spending has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic — so hard, in fact, that in April it reached its lowest point in more than a decade.

A recent Altarum analysis shows that, due to the cancellation of elective procedures and low patient volume, tanking healthcare usage has contributed to a 24.3% decline in spending over a 12-month span, hitting a low of $2.88 trillion in April. Hospital care spending dipped from $1.25 trillion to $746 billion during that time.


Hospital spending and physician and clinical services spending fell by 40.7% and 40.9%, respectively, while dental services declined by 60.8% year over year. As in March, spending declined in all major personal healthcare categories except nursing home care and prescription drugs, which rose 6.3% and 5.1% year over year, respectively.

Interestingly, the prescription drug rate is down from 14% in March, when patients may have been stocking up over concerns such as stay-at-home orders.


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Josh Sandberg

Josh Sandberg is the President and CEO of Ortho Spine Partners and sits on several company and industry related Boards. He also is the Creator and Editor of OrthoSpineNews.

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