34 Eye-Opening Healthcare Statistics to Know in 2024
Have you ever wondered about the actual state of healthcare in the United States? We hear a lot about it in a negative context, but do we actually know how much is real and how much is exaggerated? Is the reality that bad?
Here, at MedAlertHelp, we stick to the facts and rely on actual healthcare statistics. Below is what you need to know about the current state of the healthcare industry. We’ll look at the facts and see how the US measures up globally.
Top 10 Healthcare Statistics for 2024
- The ongoing pandemic could postpone or cancel about 28 million surgical procedures.
- Health statistics show that over 2,900 healthcare workers in the US have died since the start of the pandemic.
- Approximately 63 million Americans were enrolled in the Medicare program in 2020.
- 43.4% of Americans aged 19–64 were inadequately insured in the first half of 2020.
- Receiving care for a heart attack will cost you an average of $20,246.
- The US could save $175 billion in healthcare costs by halving administrative expenses.
- Employers cover 82% of healthcare costs.
- Annually, 300,000 premature deaths in the US can be attributed to obesity.
- Out of all bankruptcies, 62.1% are caused by high medical bills.
- By 2030, America will have about 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians.
Healthcare Facts and Statistics Following COVID-19
It is the first time in modern history that a health crisis has harmed the entire global economy, making us realize how closely related healthcare and the economy are. It is safe to say that the long-term changes brought about by the pandemic will be substantial.
1. COVID-19 has sparked off four interrelated crises in the US healthcare system.
Healthcare data stresses that these crises have revealed grave problems in US healthcare. To be more specific, one of the central issues is the undermined health insurance coverage. Next, there are the providers’ deep financial losses. Then—considerable ethnic and racial disparities in the healthcare system. And finally—a crisis in public health.
2. Health statistics show that over 2,900 US healthcare workers have died since the start of the pandemic.
Since March 2020, almost 3,000 healthcare workers have died in the pandemic, with the government barely keeping track. Around 680 of these deaths happened in New York and New Jersey. What’s more, Southern and Western states weren’t left behind, either.
3. About 28 million surgical procedures might be postponed or canceled due to the pandemic.
The pandemic has brought the whole world to a halt, including the healthcare system. For instance, according to the CovidSurg Collaborative Research Study, some shocking healthcare statistics suggest that approximately 28 million surgical procedures could be postponed or canceled because of the pandemic.
4. Providing the healthcare personnel with COVID-19 vaccines is of utmost importance.
Clinical trials have put the vaccines’ safety under scrutiny. Countless facts about healthcare suggest that healthcare workers receive them first since they’ve been fighting against the virus on the front lines from the very beginning. Circling back to the vaccines’ safety, we would love to note that the FDA and CDC will continue to monitor their safety.
The Most Important Medicare Facts
While life insurance programs guarantee payments following the insured person’s death (or after a set period), health insurance pays for one’s medical expenses. Perhaps, the most popular health insurance program is Medicare, with millions of people enrolling each year and enjoying its benefits. If you want to learn more about it, you’ve come to the right place.
5. 18.1% of Americans were covered by Medicare in 2019.
Medicare is a public health insurance program of the utmost importance to US adults aged 65 and over. Interestingly, there has been a slight increase in the percentage of people covered by Medicare in the last few years. Healthcare statistics for 2019 verify that around 18% of the US population was covered by Medicare.
6. The number of Americans enrolling in private healthcare plans has nearly tripled since 2004.
The number of Americans opting to enroll in private healthcare plans has increased considerably since 2004. It also shows that Americans are willing to pay extra for a higher standard of care. The trend, according to the healthcare rates, will continue upwards.
7. Approximately 63 million Americans were expected to enroll in the Medicare program in 2020.
In 2020, it was predicted that around 63 million US citizens would enroll in Medicare, according to Medicare enrollment statistics. As for what the future holds, an additional increase is expected. To be more specific, by 2022, the total Medicare’s outlays were forecast to reach over $1 trillion.
8. 43.4% of Americans aged 19–64 were inadequately insured in the first half of 2020.
In the first half of 2020, 43.4% of people in the US aged 19–64 weren’t adequately insured, as healthcare stats remark. Of course, the most common reasons are that healthcare is unaffordable for many and that some people don’t feel they need it.
9. The number of uninsured Americans has dropped from 48.5 million in 2010 to 28.9 million in 2019.
It is the area where America has shown significant progress. While healthcare statistics by country prove that around 16% of US citizens were uninsured in 2010, this figure dropped to 10.9% in 2019—28.9 million uninsured people in the US.
10. The hospital insurance (HI) trust fund could be depleted by 2026.
If this happens, in order to pay out claims, the Medicare fund would have to rely on tax revenues. Furthermore, this could mean a cut in actual benefits. While the trustees note that Congress has never allowed this to happen before, could that change in the future? If the government does not supplement this amount, could the future of healthcare in the United States be in jeopardy?
Rising Healthcare Costs Statistics
The United States is among the countries with the highest costs of healthcare in the world. As it happens, healthcare spending trends show a significant rise, and administrative costs play a big role here. With this in mind, make sure you get more intel on the matter by reading the following part of the article.
11. Administrative costs in the US account for 34% of the overall health care expenditures.
As a result of the private insurers’ overhead, administrative costs in the US have increased over the last 20 years. To emphasize, according to a study’s stats on healthcare, the administrative costs account for 34% of the health care expenditures in the US. Believe it or not, that’s twice the percentage Canada spends.
12. In 2015, the anti-cancer drug Avastin cost nine times more in the US than in the UK.
Healthcare facts note that in 2015, in the United Kingdom, Avastin cost around $470. At the same time, the same drug in the United States during that period cost $3,930. Provided that, according to a representative for the International Federation of Health Plans, the discrepancy was due to healthcare companies not negotiating the best rates. However, others believe that it’s merely a result of greed.
13. Receiving care for a heart attack will cost you an average of $20,246.
US healthcare statistics report that hospitalizations in the United States are expensive. In particular, the $20,246 cost of treatment for a heart attack seems almost reasonable, considering that getting patched up when you’ve broken a lower limb costs $16,796.
14. The US could save $175 billion in healthcare costs by halving administrative expenses.
The administration of healthcare in the United States is acknowledged as inefficient. If the amount spent on administrative tasks is reduced, it could lead to greater efficiency in other healthcare areas. To be more specific, the US could save $175 billion in healthcare costs if it halves administrative expenses.
Healthcare Industry Statistics
Healthcare is a dynamic, opportunity-rich, and essential industry. However, most Americans disagree that they have the best healthcare system since they pay more for medical care than other nations. Read the stats yourself to stay up-to-date.
15. 61% of Americans don’t believe that the US has the best health care system in the world.
Even though the US is a well-developed country, some Americans would openly disagree that their medical care is the best. To demonstrate, when asked about their opinion on the American healthcare system vs. other countries, only 21% of Americans believe that they have access to the best healthcare in the world. Another 18% are undecided, and the rest believe that the United States does not offer the best healthcare.
16. The US spends more on healthcare as a share of the economy.
Namely, it spends twice as much as the average OECD country. As a side note, OECD stands for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This organization, founded in 1961, aims to accelerate world trade and ensure economic progress.
Now, back to the US healthcare statistics. Even though the country recorded one of the highest expenditures on healthcare, it has the highest suicide rates and the lowest life expectancy relative to ten high-income nations (the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands).
17. Employers cover 82% of healthcare costs.
Did you know that your employer bears the brunt of healthcare costs, covering about 80% of them? For example, statistics on healthcare verify that in 2019, employers paid 82% of health insurance for single coverage. Considering the average cost of hospital stay without insurance in the States, this is seen as a significant perk of the job.
18. Healthcare as a percentage of GDP in the US has increased from 5% in 1960 to 18% in 2020.
Healthcare spending in the United States is on its way up. As a matter of fact, it grew by 4.6% in 2019, reaching $11,582 per person that year. Then, healthcare statistics affirm that, as a part of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending summed up to 18% in 2020. To point out, that is a striking difference from 1960, when it was only 5%.
19. The American healthcare industry was worth $24.7 billion in 1960. It is now worth $3.8 trillion.
(CMS) (Daily Press)
Healthcare industry growth rate statistics affirm that the United States’ healthcare industry has seen significant growth over the last six decades. To clarify, it was worth $24.7 billion in 1960, whereas now it is worth $3.8 trillion. All things considered, this can be attributed to rising healthcare costs and a population that has become a lot more health-conscious.
20. There are 2.9 doctors per 1,000 patients in the United States.
Healthcare employment statistics note that there are 2.9 doctors per 1,000 patients in the US. In this area, the US is on par with other developed nations. While the ratio is average, it still indicates a shortage of doctors, which is forecast to exacerbate in the forthcoming years.
The Effects of the American Obesity Epidemic
In the United States of America, obesity is highly present in children and adults, and it is responsible for an alarming number of premature deaths. Besides showcasing the prevalence of obesity, this section reveals the costs of obesity-related health issues.
21. Annually, 300,000 premature deaths in the US can be attributed to obesity.
American healthcare statistics confirm that obesity is a cause for concern since it significantly increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Considering that obesity is preventable through a healthy diet and the adoption of regular exercise, more needs to be done to educate the population and reduce the mortality rate linked to obesity.
22. Obesity-related health issues cost the US almost $150 billion a year.
As we have already mentioned, obesity is on the rise in the United States, affecting 19% of children and 42% of adults. Though it may seem unlikely, American healthcare statistics prove that addressing health issues linked to obesity costs $147 billion a year, which reveals that obesity is a common and costly disease.
23. Mississipi has the largest number (73,3%) of overweight or obese people in the US.
Mississipi has the dubious honor of being the state with the highest number of overweight or obese people. Other states leading in the number of overweight or obese people are West Virginia, North Dakota, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Iowa, and Louisiana.
24. Statistics in healthcare show that almost four out of ten Americans are morbidly obese.
(US News) (Pharmaceutical Technology)
According to the CDC, more than 40% of Americans are obese—four out of ten people. By contrast, only 4% of Japanese citizens are overweight. Generally, the Japanese have much healthier dietary habits. They tend to consume a lot of vegetables, soybeans, and fish. What’s more, an average Japanese person consumes 200 calories fewer than an average American.
The Effects of Rising Healthcare Costs
It comes as no surprise that people in the US spend a lot of money on healthcare every year. But what you might not know is that they even go overseas to seek medical care for a better deal. The US healthcare facts uncover the amount of money people need for medical expenses during retirement and how often Americans declare bankruptcy because of the high medical bills.
25. 1.4 million Americans traveled overseas for medical care in 2017.
(American Journal of Medicine)
Healthcare in America facts point out that medical tourism has become a popular way to steer clear of high healthcare costs in America. The number of Americans going to other countries to receive medical care has almost doubled in the last decade. Interestingly, such tourists mostly go to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
26. The US is your best bet to make the most money as a doctor, being paid $206,500 a year.
(US News) (Definitive Healthcare)
Healthcare statistics imply that a physician in the United States has a median salary of $206,500 per year. In 2019, the most paid 25% made $208,000, whereas the lowest-paid 25%—$112,210. Then again, the average physician salary in other countries is between $86,607 and $154,126.
27. A retired couple in the US needs around $295,000 for medical expenses.
Healthcare statistics for 2020 disclose that an average couple aged 65 and over needs around $295,000 saved for medical expenses during retirement. However, the amount you need depends on many factors, such as where and when you retire, how long you live, and how healthy you are.
28. Out of all bankruptcies, 62.1% are caused by high medical bills.
Health insurance statistics emphasize that unexpected medical costs in the United States can burn through savings fast. As a result, declared medical bankruptcies account for an astounding 62.1% of all bankruptcies. Also, more than two million people are critically affected by their medical expenses.
The Future of Healthcare
Innovations in healthcare are undoubtedly as impressive as ones can only get. From quality massage chairs for alleviating back pain to virtual assistance for enhanced patient engagement—the sector never ceases to amaze us. That said, it might take us some time to get accustomed to technological advancements to make the most out of them.
29. Healthcare facts reveal that AI will revolutionize diagnostic practices.
(American Journal of Medicine)
Scientists are currently working on applications that help in supporting the healthcare industry. For one thing, AI offers real benefits when it comes to the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data. All in all, this could help reduce medical care costs and enable medical professionals to diagnose more accurately.
30. Healthcare data breaks the news that Alexa diagnoses a cold.
(Digital Authority Partners)
That might not sound so impressive—it’s not that hard to figure out that you have a cold. How Alexa does it, though, is what’s impressive. In other words, Amazon has developed an app that allows Alexa to pick up that you are coughing. Generally speaking, that’s an excellent step for the Amazon team and the entire healthcare sector.
31. You’ll be able to get a diagnosis without leaving home.
Amazon recently started moving into the healthcare field, as healthcare facts have uncovered. To explain how you will be diagnosed without leaving home, first, you will get in touch with a doctor virtually to talk about your symptoms. Next, the doctor will make suggestions and, if necessary, order a diagnostic test to be delivered. Then, you’ll take the test and mail it back. Finally, the doctor will confirm the diagnosis and issue a prescription to be delivered to your home.
32. Drones will be used to collect blood samples from those in rural areas.
(World Economic Forum)
Drones could play a number of significant roles in the United States healthcare system. For instance, they could be used to deliver medication and collect other samples from people in rural places. On the whole, this should increase access to medicine for those in rural areas.
33. By 2032, America will have up to 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians.
One thing that is driving up the cost of medical treatment in the USA is a skills shortage. To point out, The Association of American Medical Colleges has brought into the light the fact that there is a lack of both primary and specialty care physicians. What’s more, based on statistics about healthcare, they’ve predicted that there will be up to 122,000 unfilled posts for physicians by 2032.
34. Health insurance providers will focus more on incentivizing healthy behaviors.
(World Economic Forum)
Providers of health insurance will be more focused on incentivizing healthy behavior. To illustrate, the American healthcare company John Hancock is subsidizing the purchase of an Apple watch for their policyholders on the condition that they adopt a regular exercise program. In brief, this is a win-win for both the client and the insurance provider.
Rising healthcare costs in the US are a cause for serious concern and an issue that isn’t easily solved. In fact, healthcare statistics in the United States confirm that there is a large disparity between the level of care that patients receive and what they have to pay for it.
The future does look a little brighter, though. The advancement of AI and the introduction of retail giants to the healthcare industry are likely to impact medical care costs in a positive way.
Why are statistics important in the healthcare field?
Statistics are important in any field but are particularly important in the healthcare field. There are many different types of health statistics.
They show us:
- How much we are spending on healthcare
- How many people are insured or uninsured
- What gaps there are in the coverage
- The patterns of disease in a particular population
- And a lot more
It’s essential to have a clear picture of the actual state of healthcare based on hard evidence. Otherwise, we are likely to make assumptions that could later prove completely incorrect.
How are statistics used in healthcare?
Statistics in healthcare enable healthcare providers to keep track of local conditions, as well as compare them to state, national, and international tendencies. What’s more, health care providers consider statistics when allocating private or public funds for research purposes.
What is the United States healthcare system?
The United States doesn’t have a national health care service. If you need treatment for an illness or injury, you need to have insurance or pay out of pocket.
The government programs fall under two basic plans.
It is a state government program designed to assist those with low income. Eligibility for it depends on your income and the resources at your disposal. Applications for Medicaid are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, it is more difficult to qualify for this program. Namely, healthcare disparities statistics indicate that a lot more assistance is required.
Medicare is a federal program, and interestingly enough, it isn’t based on affordability at all. So, those aged 65 and over can qualify, and those with a qualifying disability or medical condition may be eligible, too. Medicare consists of the following four parts:
- Part A: Hospital and hospice coverage
- Part B: Doctor and outpatient services
- Part C: Medicare Advantage plans
- Part D: Prescription drug plans
There is considerable reliance on private insurance in the United States. In a nutshell, some of the best accident and health insurance groups are Kaiser Foundation, UnitedHealth, Humana, CVS, and Anthem, Inc.
What percentage of GDP is healthcare?
The importance of statistics in healthcare cannot be overstated as they track the expenditure on healthcare closely. In the US, healthcare spending amounted to 18% of the GDP in 2020. In comparison, in the UK, healthcare spending accounted for 10% of the GDP in 2018.
Considering that the United Kingdom has a National Health Service that allows citizens access to free medical care, US vs. UK healthcare statistics prove quite a disparity. To clarify, healthcare providers in the US earn more, and drug prices are a lot higher.
How much does the healthcare industry make in a year?
In 2020, the US healthcare industry generated $2,612.0 billion in revenue. As for the global healthcare industry, it was worth $8.45 trillion in 2018. There is a high likelihood that the upward trend will continue, with global healthcare spending reaching $10 trillion by 2022.
How much does the average person spend on medical care?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditures Survey, there has been an exponential increase since 1984, when people spent $2,500 on healthcare annually. Now, almost $5,000 is spent per person. Still, it’s not so bad when you consider the cost of medical procedures without insurance.
Why is it important to have health care?
While you might manage your day-to-day medical expenses, health care is essential for managing and preventing an illness, promoting and maintaining health, or reducing disability and premature death. A hospital stay could end up costing thousands of dollars, even for a routine procedure, as you’ve seen by all the healthcare statistics.