28 Astonishing US Healthcare Industry Statistics [2023]

By Chris Kolmar
Jun. 29, 2022
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Cite This Webpage Zippia. "28 Astonishing US Healthcare Industry Statistics [2023]" Zippia.com. Jun. 29, 2022, https://www.zippia.com/advice/us-healthcare-industry-statistics/

Research Summary. The U.S. healthcare industry is the third-largest in the country, and it impacts the lives of almost every American. The fact is that the U.S. spends the most on healthcare than any other country, but U.S. citizens are still fronting most of the costs. Overall, after extensive research our data analysis team concluded that:

  • Healthcare spending represented 19.7% of the U.S. economy in 2020, with $1.27 trillion in revenue.

  • 14% of U.S. adults are employed in the healthcare industry.

  • An average American couple aged 65 and over needs around $295,000 saved for medical expenses during retirement.

  • 43.4% of adult Americans are inadequately insured, and 20% don’t have the means to access needed health care.

  • The U.S. ranks as the 35th healthiest country in the world.

  • As of 2020, one-third of U.S. adults had a telehealth visit for themselves or a dependent.

Healthcare spending made up 19.7% of the US economy in 2020

  1. Healthcare is the third-largest industry in the U.S.

    As of 2020, health care spending represented 19.7% of the U.S. economy, which increased from 5% just 60 years ago. This growth represents a range of factors, from new healthcare treatments and services to better coverage, higher utilization, and rising prices across many of the industry’s sectors, including:

    • Health insurance;

    • Healthcare marketing;

    • Pharmaceuticals;

    • Healthcare tech;

    • Health administration.

    While expansion is positive, it’s essential to note that health care is growing as a share of the economy and government budgets in ways that appear unsustainable.

  2. As of 2020, Healthcare revenue in the U.S. totalled $1.27 billion.

    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. healthcare system revenues dropped by about 50%.

    However, by 2024, different healthcare sectors are forecasted to earn the following profits:

    • Healthcare IT: $27.9 billion;

    • Distribution and pharmacies: $18.9 billion;

    • Payer: $116.6 billion;

    • Provider: $197.8 billion;

    • Medtech: $72.1 billion;

    • Pharma: $169.9 billion.

  3. One in eight U.S. citizens is employed in the healthcare industry.

    The U.S. Health Care and Social Assistance sector boasts a total of 907,426 businesses, 20 million employees, over $1.0 trillion in annual payroll as of 2018, along with more than 1.2 million job openings per year.

    With so much money flowing into the system, jobs in the industry come with meaningfully higher wages: the average healthcare employee salary in the U.S. is $60,976, compared to the national average of $47,060.

    And stats show that the industry will continue growing. Healthcare employment is expected to increase by 15% through 2029 (an additional 2.4 million jobs), which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will happen so fast that by 2030, America will have about 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians.

  4. Not all jobs in the healthcare industry pay more than the national average.

    While America’s aging population will increase the future demand for healthcare services, not all occupations in the sector will see a pay increase.

    For example, positions like registered nurses, physicians, surgeons, and dental hygienists are at the upper end of the pay scale.

    On the other hand, those in healthcare support occupations, including home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists, earn less than the median annual wage ($29,960 as of May 2020).

  5. 91.5% of Americans had either private or government health insurance for all or part of 2018.

    Between 2010 and 2019, the number of Americans enrolling in private healthcare plans has nearly tripled, and the number of uninsured has dropped from 48.5 million to 28.9 million.

    However, these high numbers can be deceiving as 43.4% of adult Americans are inadequately insured, and 20% don’t have the means to access needed health care, not to mention the fact that high medical bills cause 62.1% of all bankruptcies.

    Consequently, one in four Americans avoids visiting doctors due to the high cost of medical care.

  6. As of 2018, 34% of Americans received their health care via government insurance or direct public provision.

    Health care has doubled as a share of total government expenditures in the last three decades, from 11.9% in 1990 to 24.1% in 2018. As of 2019, 18.1% of Americans are covered by Medicare.

    Still, private health insurance accounts for 31% of healthcare funds in the U.S., followed by Medicare (21%), Medicaid (16%), and paying out-of-pocket (11%).

  7. Employers cover 82% of healthcare costs.

    However, this doesn’t mean that some Americans don’t have high out-of-pocket costs. As of 2017, more than one in 50 individuals who use the healthcare system have out-of-pocket costs in excess of $5,000, and one in 200 have cost over $10,000.

    And what happens when you stop working? An average American couple aged 65 and over needs around $295,000 saved for medical expenses during retirement.

  8. What you pay for healthcare largely depends on where you live in the U.S.

    Healthcare costs are twice as high in the U.S. as in other countries, primarily because of expensive, specialized treatments and procedures like MRIs and hip replacements.

    However, this isn’t across the board. For example, healthcare spending per privately insured person is three times higher in some parts of the country than in others. Even within the same city, healthcare prices vary widely for the same service.

  9. What are the top 20 most expensive health conditions in the United States?

    20 Most Expensive Health Conditions in the U.S.
    Condition/Rank Average Cost Per Stay
    1. Heart valve disorders $41,878
    2. Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) $20,086
    3. Complication of device, implant, or graft $19,669
    4. Coronary atherosclerosis $19,657
    5. Spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, other back problems $18,375
    6. Respiratory failure, insufficiency, arrest $18,287
    7. Septicemia $18,244
    8. Osteoarthritis $16,149
    9. Fracture of neck of femur (hip) $16,043
    10. Acute cerebrovascular disease $15,111
    11. Rehabilitation care, fitting of prostheses, and adjustment of devices $13,777
    12. Complications of surgical procedures or medical care $13,073
    13. Biliary tract disease $11,659
    14. Congestive heart failure $11,585
    15. Cardiac dysrhythmias $10,110
    16. Pneumonia $9,887
    17. Diabetes mellitus with complications $9,684
    18. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis $8,034
    19. Mood disorders $6,275
    20. Liveborn $3,529
  10. In 2020, U.S. healthcare expenditure totaled $3.8 trillion, or 19.7% of GDP.

    In 1980, this number was just over 8% of GDP.

    By 2023, total expenditures are expected to increase to $4.3 trillion and about $6.2 trillion by 2028.

  11. Healthcare administrative spending accounts for 8% of the U.S. GDP, compared to 3% in other nations.

    The U.S. could save $175 billion in healthcare costs by halving administrative expenses.

  12. Healthcare and other costs due to opioid misuse burden the U.S. with $78.5 billion every year.

    Furthermore, alcohol abuse in the U.S. generates healthcare costs of $27 billion per year, while 300,000 annual premature deaths can be attributed to obesity.

  13. 61% of Americans don’t believe that the U.S. has the best health care system in the world.

    The U.S. spends $11,582 in healthcare-related costs per citizen annually, compared to other top-ranking countries like Switzerland ($8,009), Germany ($5,728), Sweden ($5,511), and Austria ($5,440).

    Despite this spending, the U.S. ranks as the 35th healthiest country in the world. Furthermore, the U.S. has the:

    • Lowest life expectancy;

    • Highest suicide rates;

    • Highest chronic disease burden;

    • Highest number of hospitalizations from preventable causes;

    • Highest rate of avoidable deaths;

    • Lowest survival rate for cervical cancer;

    • An obesity rate that is two times higher than ten other high-income countries.

    On the positive side, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of breast cancer screening among women ages 50 to 69, the second-highest rate (after the U.K.) of flu vaccinations among people age 65 and older, and the highest average five-year survival rate for breast cancer (90.2%).

  14. McKesson is the biggest U.S.-based healthcare company with annual revenue of $208.3 billion.

    This is followed by:

    • UnitedHealth Group: $201 billion;

    • CVS Health: $184.7 billion;

    • AmerisourceBergen: $153.1 billion;

    • Cardinal Health: $129.9 billion;

    • Express Scripts: $100 billion;

    • Anthem: $89 billion;

    • Kaiser Permanente: $72.7 billion;

    • Aetna: $60.5 billion;

    • Humana: $52.7 billion.

  15. As of 2017, Americans visit a physician an average of four times per year, which is less than seven other high-income countries.

    A significant reason for this is that there are only 2.6 physicians for every 10,000 U.S. residents, which is the lowest among ten other high-income countries.

  16. There are 6,210 registered hospitals in the U.S.

    When Americans are admitted to one of these hospitals for acute care, they stay an average of 5.5 days.

  17. According to U.S. adults, factors that are important when interacting with healthcare include:

    • Ease of access to care (89%);

    • Privacy (89%);

    • Data security (88%);

    • Getting personalized care (88%);

    • Having a care provider close to home or work (85%);

    • Healthcare costs (85%);

    • Coordination among all healthcare providers (84%);

    • Being able to monitor their own health (75%);

    • Access to a health coach (68%).

  18. U.S. national health expenditures have increased nearly nine-fold since 1970.

    The percentage of health spending by type of service or product:

    • Hospital care (31%);

    • Physician and clinical services (20%);

    • Retail prescription drugs (10%);

    • Other health, residential, and personal care services (5%);

    • Nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities (5%);

    • Dental services (4%);

    • Home health care (3%);

    • Other professional sources (3%);

    • Other non-durable medical products (2%);

    • Durable medical equipment (2%).

  19. One-third of U.S. adults had a telehealth visit for themselves or a dependent in 2020.

    63% of U.S. adults used the service as a preventative measure, for a prescription refill, or a routine visit for a chronic illness.

    During their telehealth visit, more than nine in ten adults said they were satisfied with the video and audio quality, and eight in ten said their primary health issue was resolved during the call. As a result, 80% say they would likely use telehealth in the future.

    However, a significant portion of the population doesn’t have the opportunity to use telehealth services, as 35% of rural residents and 42% of older adults said access to high-speed broadband was an obstacle.

    With these details in mind, the total U.S. telemedicine market size is predicted to reach $22 billion by 2025.

  20. The effective deployment of IoT-based healthcare technologies could help the U.S. save more than $300 billion.

    60% of healthcare organizations are already using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, with patient monitors (64%) and X-ray/imaging devices (41%) among the main connected devices.

    Furthermore, U.S. healthcare industry investment in cloud-based technologies increased 33% between 2019 ($8.5 billion) and 2020 ($11.36 billion), and 94% of hospitals in the U.S. are in the process of adopting electronic health records.

    AI applications are another potential game-changer, which could create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026.

    However, not all technology implementation is equally beneficial. For example, online symptom checkers are currently wrong 66% of the time when it comes to diagnosis.

  21. 94% of physicians favor increased data interoperability at their healthcare organization, and most (86%) believe that the benefits far exceed any potential challenges.

    63% of physicians report that the most significant pain point at their healthcare organization right now is a burdensome, time-consuming reporting system.

    Consequently, nearly 59% of doctors believe enhanced interoperability will help them more quickly identify high-risk patients, while 95% agree it will ultimately improve patient outcomes.

  22. With the increased use of healthcare technology comes increased security concerns.

    For example, there were 599 data breaches in the U.S. healthcare industry in 2020.

    Of these, California witnessed 49 healthcare data breaches, making it the state with the highest number in 2020. As a company, Trinity Health witnessed the biggest healthcare data breach in 2020 when hackers obtained over 3.3 million records.

U.S. Healthcare Industry Statistics FAQ

  1. How much is the healthcare industry worth?

    The healthcare industry is worth $808 billion in the United States as of 2021. An impressive 65% of revenue comes from patient care. For comparison’s sake, the global health industry is worth $12 trillion.

  2. What percentage of the U.S. economy is made up of the healthcare industry?

    The healthcare industry comprises 19.7% of the U.S. economy as of 2020. This is significantly higher than most other developed countries, where healthcare typically makes no more than 10% of national GDP.

  3. Is healthcare the fastest-growing industry?

    Yes, healthcare is the fastest-growing industry. Healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the U.S. and globally. For example, between 2020 and 2030 employment for healthcare occupations is expected to grow by at least 16%.

    Not surprisingly, the healthcare sector is one of the largest and most complex in the U.S. economy, accounting for 19.7% of the country’s GDP in 2020.

  4. Is the U.S. healthcare market efficient?

    No, the U.S. healthcare market is not efficient. In fact, the U.S. healthcare system ranks 22nd out of 27 high-income nations when analyzed for its efficiency of turning dollars spent into extending lives. Denmark ranked number one in healthcare efficiency.

    Healthcare market efficiency is measured by looking at how much money is spent and how that translates to life expectancy. For example, every additional $100 spent on healthcare by the United States translated into a gain of less than half a month of life expectancy.

    In Germany, on the other hand, every additional $100 spent translated into more than four months of increased life expectancy.

Conclusion

The U.S. healthcare industry generates significant revenue across most sectors and employs a large segment of the American population. It also utilizes some of the most high-tech processes and procedures, which are increasing at a rapid pace.

Still, most Americans no longer believe that the U.S. has the best healthcare globally, which largely reflects in the medical outcomes compared to other wealthy countries. Inadequate insurance is another big concern, as well as the quickly rising cost of healthcare.

Sources

  1. Policy Advice. The State of Healthcare Industry – Statistics for 2021. Accessed on 8/23/21.

  2. The Commonwealth Fund. U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, 2019: Higher Spending, Worse Outcomes? Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  3. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 2019 National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA). Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  4. The Brookings Institution. A dozen facts about the economics of the U.S. healthcare system. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  5. Insider Intelligence. U.S. Healthcare Industry in 2021: Analysis of the health sector, healthcare trends, future of digital health. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  6. Google. Physicians say better data interoperability will save lives. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  7. Bipartisan Policy Center. New Survey: Virtual Care Could Keep Low-Acuity Cases Out of Emergency Department. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  8. MedAlertHelp. 34 Eye-Opening Healthcare Statistics to Know in 2021. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  9. Statista. Profit pool of the U.S. healthcare industry in 2019 and a forecast for 2024, by sector. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  10. Harvard Medical School. Evaluation of symptom checkers for self-diagnosis and triage: audit study. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  11. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Projections of Health Care Spending for Categories Within the National Health Expenditure Accounts. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  12. Business Insider. The 20 most expensive health conditions in the U.S. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  13. Aranca. IoT Could Save Billions in Healthcare Costs Across the U.S. and Europe. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  14. Statista. Total telemedicine market in the United States from 2014 to 2025. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  15. Accenture. Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  16. Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  17. LoudCloud Health. 10 Key Healthcare Industry Statistics for 2021. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  18. IBISWorld. Health Medical Insurance in the U.S. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—National Center for Health Statistics. Fast Stats: Health Expenditures. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  20. United States Census Bureau. Health Care Still Largest U.S. Employer. Accessed on June 29, 2022.

  21. U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Healthcare Occupations. Accessed on 8/23/21.

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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