In a blog post today, AHA Executive Vice President Tom Nickels takes issue with a recent Axios article comparing hospital prices to drug prices. “Comparing hospital prices to drug prices is absurd,” Nickels writes. “And although the article claims to be about prices, the chart actually shows National Health Expenditure spending numbers, not prices. Despite that, hospital spending has grown at a slower rate than drug spending over the time period displayed in the chart. And as a percentage of the NHE, hospital care actually declined from 42.7% in 1980 to 34% in 2016, compared to retail prescription drug spending, which doubled as a share of total national health expenditures. … Hospital prices have also grown more slowly than drug prices, despite rising input costs. Hospital price growth as measured by the Producer Price Index, has remained under 2% for each of the last four years. Even before that, since 2008, hospital prices had an average annual growth rate of 2%. In comparison, the overall price of medical care had an average annual growth rate of 3%, while drug prices had a significantly higher average annual growth rate of 5.6% for that same time period.”

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