Health care costs have been rising faster than wages over the past decade, putting a strain on family budgets. Rising costs to finance Medicare, Medicaid and other public health programs are major contributors to the long-term fiscal challenges facing federal and state governments. If current trends remain unchanged, official estimates project that U.S. health spending will have risen from around $2.5 trillion in 2014 to $5.6 trillion by the end of 2025. Despite this, historically there has been a lack of timely, detailed information that can be used to track the components of national health care spending, to support analysis of underlying cost drivers, and to determine the reasons for variation across the country.

HCCI’s mission is to promote independent research and analyses on the causes of rising U.S. health spending, to provide policymakers, consumers, and researchers with better, more transparent information on what is driving health care costs, and to help ensure that, over time, the nation is able to obtain a greater value from its health spending. Through HCCI, researchers have access to health care cost and utilization data that covers all ages and health issues, is national in nature, and includes previously inaccessible data on the private health insurance market. Researchers and policymakers are able to use the data to study the health care system, evaluate existing and new ways to contain costs, and assess quality.

HCCI’s key objectives include:

  • Fostering a better understanding of the drivers of increasing health care costs.
  • Maintaining and expanding its claims database to study public and private sector health care costs and utilization.
  • Promoting independent academic research using HCCI’s data.
  • Conducting cutting edge research on health care costs and their drivers.
  • Providing fact-based, non-partisan insights on health care policy issues, including price transparency.

The Institute’s work is comprised of several sets of activities:

First, the Institute produces its annual Health Care Cost and Utilization and Children’s Health Spending reports to provide timely information on aggregate trends for health care costs for the commercially insured population.

Second, the Institute licenses data for topical research projects to independent researchers at leading universities and select government agencies.

Third, the Institute supports State efforts at data collection and price transparency. This support includes leveraging HCCI’s investment in Guroo and other transparency tools for states to promote and assist transparency initiatives.