Health care spending in the United States continues to grow yearly, outpacing inflation and gaining a greater share of the country’s GDP. By 2025, health care expenditures are estimated to be 19.9 percent of the nation’s GDP, up from 17.8 percent in 2015.1 As costs continue to rise, it is more important than ever to ensure our health care dollars are spent efficiently and within the right setting.
CVS Health is on the leading edge of addressing cost challenges in the health care system, providing lower-cost, high-quality care to patients in need of medical attention and wellness services.
Addressing Patient Needs in the Most Appropriate Setting
Emergency room (ER) overutilization for non-urgent matters is one of the most common examples of inefficient use of health care services. It’s a trend that isn’t slowing, and a poll of nearly 2,100 ER physicians nationwide found an increase in the volume of patients in emergency departments.2
While utilization is on the rise, data suggest the needs of some ER patients could be met in lower-cost settings. One group has found that between 13.7-27.1 percent of all ER visits could be treated in a retail or urgent care clinic, where savings could reach upwards of $4 billion annually.