What Drives Health Spending in the U.S. Compared to Other Countries

A new issue brief looks at the drivers of health spending in the U.S., and key differences between the U.S. and other large, wealthy nations. The analysis finds that the cost of inpatient and outpatient care (which encompasses primary care, services at clinics and hospitals, surgery care, and more) is the main driver of high U.S. health spending, accounting for more than 60% of per capita heath spending in the U.S. and over three-quarters of the difference in total health spending between the U.S. and the comparable country average.

The analysis is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.