Hospital Trends

The structure of hospital care has been changing rapidly over the past few decades. The first item to note is that the number of nonprofit hospitals is decreasing. For-profit hospitals are making up a larger percentage of all hospitals than in 1980. Below, table 1 shows the number of hospitals in the United States. I…

Healthcare Stats

The Healthy Policy blog has two posts (one for the insured and one for the uninsured) which offer a compendium of statistics of these two groups.  Some interesting statistics: The number of employers providing health insurance has dropped 9% in five years; from 69% in 2000 to 60% in 2005. The average insured person already…

Number of U.S. Deaths Drop 2% in 2004

After a large number of posts criticizing the American healthcare system on this very blog, it is now time to sing its praise. The San Diego Union Tribune reports today (“U.S. deaths dropped 2% during ’04, report finds“) that the number of deaths decreased by 50,000 between 2003 and 2004. This is surprising. Despite medical…

Failure of Medical Malpractice Law

The problems with the Medical Malpractice system in the US have been well-documented. President Bush has presented proposals to cap punitive damages in malpractice litigation. Other others have decried the fact that despite a large number of negligence cases each year, very few patients bring suit to court. Below are two studies which should give…

Profile of Medicaid participants

As of 2002, approximately 41 million people were on Medicaid. That is approximately 14% of the population of the United States. Who are the people on Medicaid? We can generally divide the people who receive Medicaid into four categories: 1) poor adults, 2) elderly who can not afford Medicare co-payments or deductibles 3) children and…

Trends in Health Care Spending

A recent Health Affairs article by Cynthia Smith, Cathy Cowan, Stephen Heffler and Aaron Catlin details the trends in health care spending over the last 25 years. I have compiled their results into a handy graph. In addition the the general overall increase, there are other significant findings. Between 1970 and 2004, out-of-pocket payments decreased…