Washington (AFP) – Secret pricing is making healthcare in the United States more expensive than ever, leading costs to triple in the past two decades, experts said Tuesday.
Overall, US healthcare costs now account for nearly 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), twice the amount spent by Japan, Ireland and Sweden where people are generally healthier and live longer.
Ninety-one percent of US healthcare cost increases since 2000 have been due to the price of doctor visits, drugs, devices and administrative costs, said the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The findings contradict the widely held belief that an aging population and higher demand for medical treatment are causing health spending to rise, said study author Hamilton Moses.
“Price is the culprit,” he told reporters at a briefing in Washington. “Not population, demographics, or use and intensity.”
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