Tennessee Ranks at Number 17 on the List for Medical and Healthcare Spending

Nov 15, 2022 at 01:20 pm by WGNS News

HEALTHCARE and TENNESSEE'S RANKING - The challenges facing the healthcare sector in the U.S. are numerous. The U.S. lags behind other developed nations on many key metrics of health, including life expectancy, chronic disease burden, and avoidable deaths. The population has been growing older on average with the aging of the Baby Boomers, creating increased demand for health services. Longtime public health challenges like obesity, substance abuse, and mental illness have wide-ranging impacts on Americans’ overall health and well-being. And in the last few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed unusually heavy strain on healthcare providers and hospitals.

The state of Tennessee is on the top 20-list of states that spend the most on health and hospitals. Tennessee spends 10.4% of their annual budget on health and hospital care. That percentage ranks the Volunteer State at number 17 the list.  The analysis found that health and hospital spending in Tennessee amounts to an annual $814 per capita or 10.4% of the state’s total spending—compared to the national average of $1,047.  


MORE On Healthcare Costs in the United States - With these many interlocking and compounding challenges, the U.S. spends heavily to support the healthcare system. According to federal data, national health expenditures in the U.S. total $4.1 trillion per year, making up nearly 20% of the nation’s GDP. The bulk of this spending comes from the federal government, which contributes 36.3% of expenditures, and U.S. households, which account for 26.1%.

Often underappreciated in discussions of the U.S. health system is the role of state and local governments. States and localities frequently fund public hospitals, health inspections, mental health and substance abuse programs, water and air quality programs, and payments to private hospitals for public health services. State and local governments funded 14.3% of total national health expenditures in 2020.

This spending is one of the most significant budgetary responsibilities of state and local governments. Health and hospitals represent the third largest spending category for state and local governments, behind only public welfare and elementary and secondary education. Collectively, governments spend $345 billion on health and hospitals each year, accounting for nearly 10% of all state and local spending.

State and local spending on health and hospitals on a per-capita basis has also grown over time. In the year 2000, state and local governments spent $678 per capita on health and hospitals in inflation-adjusted dollars. By 2020, that figure had risen to $1,040—an increase of more than 50%.

However, this trend has not played out the same in all locations. In fact, 13 states have seen a decline in health and hospital spending per capita over the last decade, led by Arizona, where spending has declined by more than 50%. In contrast, other states have seen rapid growth in health spending. Vermont’s inflation-adjusted state and local spending per capita more than doubled between 2010 and 2020, from $355 to $730, and Utah’s 96.2% rate of growth was not far behind.

Just as trends in health spending have varied by geography, total spending also looks different from state to state. Nationwide, states and localities spend around 9.9% of their budgets on health and hospitals, at a total of $1,047 per capita. But a number of states and localities spend well above these figures, including Wyoming, where the per-capita spending is nearly triple the national average, and South Carolina, where health and hospital spending represents nearly 20% of state and local expenditures.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau. To determine the states that spend the most on health and hospitals, researchers at HowtoHome.com calculated health and hospital spending as a share of total spending. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater total health and hospital spending per capita was ranked higher.

TENNESSEE - Here is a summary of the data for Tennessee: 

  • Health & hospital spending as a share of total:4%
  • Total health & hospital spending per capita:$814
  • Total health & hospital spending:$5,604,590,000
  • Total direct expenditures:$53,925,390,000

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States: 

  • Health & hospital spending as a share of total:9%
  • Total health & hospital spending per capita:$1,047
  • Total health & hospital spending:$345,008,758,000
  • Total direct expenditures:$3,494,136,935,000

RECAP ON STATES - The state that spent the MOST on health and hospital related costs was South Carolina in the number one (1) position. There, the per capita spending came in at $1,787. In looking at all of the state’s spending, health & hospital spending accounted for 19.3%.

Wyoming was ranked at number two (2) on the list, spending $2,936 per capita. When looking at various state expenditures throughout the state of Wyoming, 18.9% of the state’s total spending was funneled into health & hospital spending as a share totaled 18.9%.

North Carolina was ranked at number three (3), spending $1,665 per capita in health and hospital costs. When you break that into shares of North Carolina’s total budget, it appears that health & hospital spending took 18.8% of their total budget.

Ranking of Spending: 

  1. South Carolina = 19.3% of the SC State Budget
  2. Wyoming = 18.9% of the WY State Budget
  3. North Carolina = 18.8% of the NC State Budget
  4. Alabama = 18.7% of the AL State Budget
  5. Mississippi = 17.1% of the MS State Budget
  6. Kansas = 15.5% of the KS State Budget
  7. Missouri = 14.2% of the MO State Budget
  8. Washington = 14% of the WA State Budget
  9. Iowa = 14.0% of the IA State Budget
  10. Utah = 12.8% of the UT State Budget
  11. California = 12.2% of the CA State Budget
  12. Texas = 11.3% of the TX State Budget
  13. Michigan = 11.2% of the MI State Budget
  14. Virginia = 10.7% of the VA State Budget
  15. Indiana= 10.7% of the IN State Budget
  16. Florida = 10.6% of the FL State Budget
  17. Tennessee = 10.4% of the TN State Budget 

#50… as the list goes on, New Hampshire was ranked at number 50, with 1.8% of their budget going towards health and hospital spending. Their total health and hospital spending per capita equaled $164.

See the ranking of all states HERE. For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on HowtoHome.com’s website: https://www.howtohome.com/us-states-that-spend-most-on-health-and-hospitals/

Additional WGNS News Headlines: 


Sections: News Smyrna News