Health Notes: Minnesota residents spend less than average on health careMinnesotans continue to spend less than the national average on health care, a state report says.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Minnesotans continue to spend less than the national average on health care, a state report says.
The state’s residents spent $7,090 per person on health care in 2010, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to a report from the Minnesota Department of Health. That’s compared to $7,910 nationally.
Health-care spending in Minnesota also accounts for a smaller share of the overall economy than in the nation as a whole, according to the report, which was highlighted in a health department news release on Wednesday. It’s 16.8 percent nationally, and 13.9 percent in Minnesota.
The big picture: Minnesotans spent $37.7 billion on health care in 2010. That represented a 2.2 percent increase from 2009, the slowest growth rate since 1997, the report said.
But Dr. Ed Ehlinger, the state’s health commissioner, said the future isn’t necessarily bright.
“Because of the recession, people may have delayed seeking routine and acute care, so we are concerned that these rates may increase in coming years as people address their deferred health-care needs,” Ehlinger said in the news release.
Without reform, Minnesotans’ spending on health care could more than double in 10 years to $76.7 million and consume about 18 percent of the state’s economy, he said.
Keeping costs down will require investments in prevention, making communities healthier, engaging consumers in their role in health and health care, and being value-based purchasers of health care, Ehlinger said.
The complete report is available at www.health.state.mn.us/healtheconomics.