Health care spending in the U.S. is on the rise with a new report from CMS finding that health care spending in 2006 increased by 6.7% over the previous year to $2.1 trillion, or $7,026 per capita.
The report also found that prescription drug spending in 2006 reached $216.7 billion, increasing 8.5% from the previous year. “Public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid accounted for 34% of prescription drug spending, compared with 28% in 2005, before the Medicare prescription drug benefit took effect,” Kaiser Daily Health Policy reports. “The increase in prescription drug spending resulted largely from the use of more medications, not higher prices.”
The prescription drug benefit also contributed to the rise in prescription drug treatments with many Medicare beneficiaries in 2006 beginning to receive coverage under the benefit. Insomnia medications were among the drugs that increased in use among Americans, the report finds.
The CMS report was published January 8 in the journal Health Affairs.