U.S. hospital care expenditure 1960-2020

Hospital care expenditure in the United States reached a record 1.19 trillion U.S. dollars in 2018. For 2020, this number is predicted to increase to 1.32 trillion dollars. Hospitals play an essential role in the health and treatment of the U.S. population, providing emergency services as well as specialized care.

Hospitals in the U.S.

There are currently around 6,200 hospitals in the United States. However, despite the importance of hospitals, the number of hospitals in the U.S. has decreased in recent years. Unsurprisingly, the number of hospital beds has also decreased. While there were over one million hospital beds in 1995, there were around 931,000 beds in 2017, despite a growing elderly population.

Hospital costs

Medicare accounts for the largest portion of hospital costs in the U.S., followed by private payers and Medicaid. In 2016, Medicare accounted for 41 percent of all hospital costs. The United States has the highest hospital costs per day of any country worldwide, followed by Switzerland and New Zealand. As of 2015, the average cost of a hospital stay in the U.S. was 5,220 dollars per day. Such high costs are one of the reasons health care reform remains a crucial topic for many politicians in the U.S.

Hospital care expenditure in the United States from 1960 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

1960 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Includes expenditures for hospital-based nursing home and home health agency care.
** Projected.

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Statistics on "Hospitals in the U.S."

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