News Release

New Interactive Tool Allows Users to Explore Trends in US Health Spending and Share Custom-Made Charts

A new interactive tool on the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker allows users to analyze the most up-to-date data on U.S. health spending, then build, display and share the charts they create.

Developed by analysts at the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Health Spending Explorer helps users examine five decades worth of numbers documenting expenditures by federal and local governments, private insurers, and individuals on 15 categories of health services, including hospitals, physician & clinic care, and prescription drugs. The data – which spans from 1960 to 2013 – is drawn from the National Health Expenditure Account, and will be updated with each new data release.


The tool can be used to answer such questions as:

  • How much did the United States spend on health services in billions of dollars, inflation-adjusted, in 1993 vs. 2013? (Click here for graph.)
  • What was out-of-pocket per capita spending on hospitals, dental care, physician & clinic services and prescription drugs in 2000 and 2013? (Click here for graph.)
  • What percentage of the country’s total health expenditures was represented by prescription drug spending each year from 1960 to 2013? (Click here for graph.)

The Explorer’s custom-made charts are easily shared through email, Twitter and Facebook, and can be embedded on a web site.

A short video tutorial provides instructions for the tool.

A partnership of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Peterson Center on Healthcare, the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker is an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.