Health Care

To better measure spending trends and treatment prices, BEA developed a set of supplemental statistics called the Health Care Satellite Account. These statistics give policymakers, researchers and the public another way of understanding the economics of health care.

The satellite account measures U.S. health care spending by the diseases being treated (for example, cancer or diabetes) instead of by the types of goods and services purchased (such as doctor's office visits or drugs). At the same time, BEA continues to produce the traditional goods-and-services health care estimates that are part of its core statistics, such as gross domestic product. Read more.

Data for 2020 are now available. Note that the disease classification system used in these statistics has changed, affecting comparability with years prior to 2015. See cautionary notes in the MEPS and Blended Account tables for more details.


Satellite Account Publications

Research Publications and Working Papers

About the Health Care Satellite Account

Within the satellite account, there are two different sets of disease-based statistics. One version uses data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, the only nationally representative survey that contains detailed expenditure information by disease. BEA calls this the "MEPS Account." Because of its relatively small sample size, the MEPS Account produces more volatile estimates across years. To address this issue, we also produce the "Blended Account," which blends together data from multiple sources, including large claims databases that cover millions of enrollees and billions of claims.

Looking at spending by disease is a first step toward BEA's goal of developing an account that allows better assessment of value in health care spending. BEA continues to conduct research to expand and improve its health statistics.

What is the Health Care Satellite Account?

Measures U.S. health care spending to treat diseases – like cancer or diabetes, rather than by place of service, like a hospital or doctor's office, offering a new way of analyzing the health care sector.

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What's a Satellite Account?

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