35 Indispensable Healthcare Statistics to Know in 2021

Healthcare Statistics

Feeling uncertain about the choice of your healthcare plans? Worrying about the future of your savings? Useful and relevant healthcare statistics can make you change your strategy and make a better decision; one that will lead to changing our health and lifestyle for the better.

Keeping up to date with useful information, especially when it comes to your health, gives you an unmistakable advantage. New trends in medicine — using fully natural treatments, exploring multi-potent substances such as cannabis extracts and oils — are slowly but surely bringing to full light therapies that might one day become the very essence of health care.

Here are some facts related to modern healthcare that deserve your attention.

Top 10 Key Healthcare Statistics You Should Know

  • Currently, there are only 18 ongoing and 94 completed clinical studies involving cannabidiol in the US.
  • Infertility is on the rise, and so are IVF medical procedures.
  • The life expectancy of US citizens is dropping for 3 years in a row.
  • No more surprise medical bills in 2020.
  • The opioid epidemic continues to add to the morbid statistics in healthcare.
  • Online symptom checkers are wrong 66% of the time when it comes to diagnosis.
  • In 2018, 62% of all CBD users in the US used it as a treatment for medical conditions.
  • There are 1.26 million job openings in US healthcare per year.
  • Your physician is 20 times more exposed to professional burnout than you are.
  • Mental health coverage In the US is lacking for the youngest.

Universal Health Care Statistics

1. Online symptom checkers are wrong 66% of the time when it comes to diagnosis.

(BMJ) (The Journal of Pediatrics)

5% of all Google searches are health-related, yet an online diagnosis is only 34% effective. Just 43.5% of online health-related instructions contain officially approved recommendations, with the highest accuracy noted in governmental websites (80.9%) and the lowest in the product-review retail websites, with a mere 8.5%.

2. There are 32 data breaches per month in the healthcare industry.

(Healthcare Innovation) (Cybersecurity Media) (Symantec Report)

Healthcare software stores a lot of profitable information to hackers, including social security numbers, addresses, names, etc. Still, healthcare facts and statistics show that cybersecurity ranks are lower than average for most medical institutions.

Given the high cost per customer file in the US, 18.2% of all ransomware attacks are directed at American databases, causing $11.5 billion in damage in 2019. 

3. Your physician is 20 times more exposed to professional burnout than you are.


Officially recognized as a disease in 2019, burnout affects (to some level) as much as 78% of physicians, as revealed by US healthcare statistics in 2019.

The main contributing factors are long working hours, irregular schedules, and ever-increasing bureaucracy and digital innovations. Healthcare physician’s burnout diminishes the quality and safety of care, costing the US roughly $4.6 billion per year.

4. Business process outsourcing offers better quality health care worldwide.

(Business Wire) (Statista)

Since the implementation of the ACA, medical BPO is becoming a growing trend in the healthcare industry, generating $23.6 billion worldwide in 2018.

Healthcare facilities and hospitals are outsourcing their non-core activities for operational benefits, bigger revenues and cost reductions, and better patient satisfaction as observed in Obamacare statistics.

5. The medical tourism market will reach $226.7 million by 2023.

(JAMA Network) (Flux)

Traveling abroad to cut on medical bills, especially in the US, is growing annually by 15%. Savings on medical tourist’s costs are ranging from 30% to 90%. A 2017 statistical research states that Americans are healing in foreign hospitals with a satisfaction rate of 68%.

6. Who has the best healthcare in the world? Taiwan is ranked first by Health Care Index.

(CEOWORLD Magazine)

CEOWORLD magazine Health Care Index (HCI) did 89 healthcare rankings by country, following statistical analysis of the overall quality of their healthcare system, including organization, medical staff competencies, costs, availability, quality of medicine and the government’s attitude towards taxes that improve healthcare.

7. Infertility is on the rise, and so are IVF medical procedures.


The WHO finds suggest that infertility and subfertility affect a significant proportion of the population per year. More than half a million babies each year are born from IVF and ICSI.

The average medical procedure cost comparison by country for the US and France is between $10,000 and $15,000 for a single IVF cycle in the US and just around $3,500 in France.

8. Fitness apps replace diabetes at the top of health-related apps.

(Med Gadget) (Research2Guidance)

Nearly half of healthcare consumers are using mobile health applications compared to just 16% in 2014, state the US statistics in 2017.

The most popular use for mHealth apps is addressing “fitness and lifestyle management” followed by “women’s health” and ”mental health” apps.

9. Three-quarters of the Western population distrusts the public healthcare system.


The national center for health statistics observes a general decline in trust in national healthcare providers by 50% since 1966, which can potentially cause damage to both public health and safety, notably in times of crisis.

Compared with countries with universal healthcare like those in developing countries, people from Western countries, especially Americans, are considerably less likely to trust practitioners or the healthcare system in general.  

10. Healthcare facts and statistics in 2018 show that more than 60% of the global population used some form of traditional medicine.

(The NY Times) (Grand View Research)

The typical American adult spends about $800 per year on dietary supplements and wellness visits to alternative providers, such as naturopaths and acupuncturists.

Alternative medicine use in Europe is mostly prevalent in the treatment of pain- and allergy-related conditions for which patients lack a clear understanding of causes and remedies.  

Healthcare in the US

11. Mental health coverage In the US is lacking for the youngest.


US healthcare statistics (2018) state that mental health coverage in private medical insurance plans for adolescents diminished by 50%, despite the higher prevalence of Major Depressive Episodes (MDE) experienced by those aged 12–17 years. Rates of youth with severe depression also increased from 5.9% in 2012 to 8.2% in 2015.

What’s more, even with severe depression, 76% of youth are left undiagnosed and without proper treatment.

12. The opioid epidemic continues to add to the morbid statistics in healthcare.

(The Washington Post) (Talbott Campus)

There were 47,600 deaths due to drug overdose involving prescription and synthetic opioids — such as methadone and heroin — as shown in healthcare statistics (2017).

In the US, 1 in 10 people struggled with some level of substance abuse in 2017, including addiction to prescription drugs such as Adderall — used by ADHD patients. The overall numbers show no noticeable difference over the past 3 years in this trend, except for a 47% increase in Fentanyl-related overdoses.  

13. Antibiotic-resistant infections add nearly $1,400 to the bill for treating a bacterial infection.


The estimated 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections per year are some of the most shocking healthcare facts in America for 2019. The US CDC lists 18 super-resistant bacteria and fungi in the Threats Report published in 2019. Contributing to healthcare expenses with an astounding $3 billion annually, antibiotic-resistant infections caused the death of 35,000 patients in 2019.

14. The life expectancy of US citizens is dropping for 3 years in a row.

(The Washington Post) (Statista)

In 2017, 76.1 years and 81.1 years is the estimated lifespan of men and women in the US, respectively. Down for one-tenth since 2016, these numbers continue to drop in 2019 to an estimated 76 and 81.

Nevertheless, the US healthcare statistics (2017) and on, are good enough for the top ranks on the global scale. Africa is on the opposite side with a life expectancy of only 61 and 65 years for men and women accordingly. 

15. Alcohol abuse in the US causes healthcare costs of $27 billion per year.


A well-known fact is that alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing cancerous diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and liver diseases. Also, the related costs in the treatment of such health complications are proven to be substantial according to US healthcare statistics.

Additionally, while youngsters in America have lowered their drinking in half since 1991, the alcohol-related death rates from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis increased for a staggering 31% among Americans aged between 45 and 64 years.  

16. 9.5% of all deaths in US healthcare are due to preventable medical errors.

(VOX) (Health System Tracker)

Globally, an estimated 1 in 300 admitted patients suffers injury or death that occurs due to medical errors, making this a serious public health concern.

Compared to other high-risk industries such as aviation, healthcare has a rather poor safety record. There is a huge difference in the transparency of these types of records when comparing US vs UK healthcare statistics.

The official UK report from 2016 states that 10% of all patients experience medical errors to a certain degree, but US citizens have to ”dig deeper” to uncover the same statistics for Americans.

17. In 6 years, half of the US population will suffer from some form of chronic disease.

(Business Insider)

Medical insurance coverage costs five times more for people suffering from a chronic condition; moreover, 75% of all healthcare costs are due to treating these conditions.

Greatest out-of-pocket expenditure is observed in prescription drugs and treatments of cancerous diseases, diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, COPD, and mental illnesses. The total impact of chronic conditions on the US economy amounts to $1.3 trillion annually, as stated in the healthcare spending statistics.

18. No more surprise medical bills in 2020.


US CMS delivered an official proposal after concluding that bill transparency towards the patients can become a way of controlling healthcare costs. Knowing charges prior to care delivery, gives bigger control to patients, on the condition that they’re properly informed in regards to the billing process.

The price is a key element in the US healthcare ranking. We expect healthcare statistics for 2020 to testify of better healthcare quality.

19. More than half of US counties do not have a practicing psychiatrist.

(NAMI) (National Council)

In the past decade, there’s been a 10% decline in the number of psychiatrists in the public sector. Low rates, burdening bureaucracy as well as strict institutional regulations, push more and more psychiatrists towards private practices.

There is also a geographically uneven distribution of practicing professionals in public healthcare. This makes up for a serious shortage of practicing professionals in as much as 77% of US counties, especially in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry, as depicted by health care facts (2018).  

Health Industry Statistics

20. The average American spends $318 per year out-of-pocket on dental care.


This estimation comprises those needing specialty care like orthodontics and oral surgery. Still, an estimated 4.5% of people with dental care coverage couldn’t afford dental treatment in 2017.

Furthermore, 7.7% of US patients aged 65 and more reported neglecting dental care due to high costs in the same year.   

21. 37% of all Medicare disability beneficiaries suffer from a significant mental disorder.


Medicare statistics state that 8 million people younger than 65 benefited from Medicare in 2018. They represent almost 15% of the total Medicare enrollments. The most prevalent disabilities of these Medicare beneficiaries are mental health disorders like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The second leading cause for disability is mood disorders or trauma and stressor-related disorders like PTSD. According to the statistics in 2018, 3.4% of US adults with serious mental illness lacked medical insurance coverage.

22. The average hospital cost per day in 2018 in the US was $5,220.

(Health System Tracker)

The lack of universal health care in the US resulted in having the world’s most expensive hospital care. Hospital stays represent 32% of the total healthcare expenditure in the US. 

This might be the reason behind the short hospital stays of Americans, in comparison to other nations. With an average of only 6.1 days per hospitalization, US stats are far from the world champion — Japan, with an average of 29.9 days per hospitalization. Although, we can note that in Japan the healthcare system has universal coverage.

23. Health care spending statistics show that half of the total spending is due to 5% of the US population.

(Health System Tracker)

The elderly and the chronically ill require higher-cost health services than those who are younger and healthier.

In the US, the population of 55 years and more accounts for over half of the healthcare expenditures annually. This type of cost distribution is not unique for the US, but it might become a huge healthcare problem in the future on an international level; particularly due to the increasingly aging population in Western countries.

24. Healthcare spending statistics show a smaller annual increase rate.

(Modern Healthcare) (The Balance)

The overall healthcare costs in the US are constantly increasing but with a slightly slower rate of 3.9% in comparison to other years. This is more evident when analyzing pre-ACA statistics, which point to an average annual increase rate of 9.9% for the total healthcare costs.

Different statistics that evaluate the costs of hospitalization, physician services, and prescription drugs attribute the biggest cost increase rate to hospital care (4.6% in 2017), whereas the percentage for prescription drug spending increased only 0.4%.

25. Medicare enrollment in 2030 is projected to reach over 80 million.


In 2018, Medicare enrollment statistics counted 59,869,402 beneficiaries. The retirement of the Baby-boomers is in the background of this ambitious projection.

In addition, the expected longer lifespans of Baby-boomers predict bigger Medicare spending that is expected to reach 4.7% of the GDP. Medicare expenditure in 2018 was over $740 billion, which is about 3.7% of US GDP, or over 15% of total US federal costs.

This is precisely why innovative ideas in healthcare that gravitate around cutting Medicare expenses are of existential importance.

26. There are 1.26 million jobs openings in US healthcare per year.

(AMN Healthcare)

One of the main reasons for the high cost of medical treatment in the USA is the lack of healthcare services and healthcare workers to provide for the ever-increasing demand. The famous healthcare job gap is due to the aging of the US population leaving a big shortage in the healthcare workforce.

A clear indicator for this is the most noticeable figure in the statistics for 2018 — the surpassing of 16 million employments, which marked healthcare as the fastest growing industry in the US economy.

27. Congenital cardiovascular defects are one of the most expensive conditions in the US, according to health insurance statistics.

(Business Insider) (AHA)

Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) and other cardiovascular abnormalities have a prevalence of 4 out of 10 per 1,000 live births in the US. Currently, there are 1.4 million adults and 1 million children suffering from CHDs.

The huge deficiency of care providers for these patients resulted in an increase in the average cost for hospitalization of around 258% in the past 10 years. This is almost double the general increase in hospitalization costs.

Today, for an adult CHD patient, the average cost of hospital stay without insurance is $63,460.

28. Higher star ratings for 2020 Medicare plans.

(Modern Healthcare)

Medicare news show augmentation of star ratings for every part of the 2020 Medicare plans. The most significant of these is the 6.7% increase in ratings for Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage.

What’s more, 23 individual 2020 healthcare plans, including CVS Health, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, received five-star ratings from the CMMS.

On the other hand, five individual plans received a warning due to poor quality ratings of only 2.5 stars for the past year.

29. Access to healthcare statistics reveals a 0.7% drop in Medicaid coverage in 2018.

(VOX) (Healthy People)

Having in mind the economic stability and relatively stable increase rates in insurance premiums, the reasons behind the augmentation of uninsured US population in 2018 are still a debatable subject.

Medical insurance coverage statistics present significant differences that show the variation of the insured population by geography, sex, age, race, ethnicity, education, and family income in all levels of access to healthcare. In 2018, 27.5 million Americans were uninsured, among them 5.4% of the white non-Hispanic population, 9.8% of African-Americans, and 17.8% of Hispanics as per healthcare disparities statistics.

30. 64% of American patients are avoiding or delaying medical care or treatment due to high prices.


One-quarter of the US population neglects their follow-up care and 12% delay their prescribed treatment or therapy after a surgery or a procedure.

In the last three years, the percentage of patients that report an inability to pay for their own healthcare remains unchanged, despite Obamacare enrollment numbers (2017) that signal 20 million newly insured.

Marijuana in Healthcare Stats & Facts

31. The answer to the question — is CBD oil covered by United Healthcare — is yes!

(UCH Provider)

One of the most profitable businesses, since the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex, is CBD oil production. Consumer sales for CBD oil are expected to reach $1.8 billion in 2020.

Don’t get your hopes high, though. The CBD oil in question comes in the form of  Epidiolex, essentially used for treating seizures in children of 2 years and above. Essentially, Epidiolex is hemp-derived CBD oil.

32. Health care facts confirm that in 2020 CBD marijuana extract is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance.


US Enforcement administration still considers cannabis extracts as dangerous as LSD or heroin, despite numerous studies proving that at least CBD, in a purified extract, doesn’t cause dependency or gets people “high.”

Only Epidiolex, classified as Schedule 5 controlled substance since 2018, is legally prescribed. Sativex — an EU approved medicine that contains 2.7 mg THC and 2.5 mg CBD — is still not approved for use in the US.

Legalization would probably reduce medical costs in the USA, but as the marijuana taxes would be reduced, the country could be losing money on that end. Despite the recent news on the legalization bill, we’ll have to wait a bit more.

33. In Germany, 71% of the prescriptions for medicinal cannabis were used to treat pain.

(MJBiz Daily)

In 2017, there were more than 6,500 patients in Germany that had a prescription for medicinal cannabis covered by the statutory health insurance. In the German healthcare system, doctors are obligated to provide statistical information on cannabis prescriptions until 2022.

Almost 71% of these prescriptions were destined to treat chronic pain. Second in line were prescriptions to treat spasticity, with almost 11% of use. Other medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) had scores below 10% (1.5%) as observed in the healthcare industry statistics.

34. In 2018, 62% of all CBD users in the US used it as a treatment for medical conditions.

(Above The Roots)

CBD in 2018 in the US was mostly used to treat medical conditions, especially those related to chronic pain. Considered as a far healthier substitute for opioids, CBD had the desired effects in more than 93% of cases. Other medical conditions that were high on the list for CBD users were anxiety disorders and depression.

35. Currently, there are only 18 ongoing and 94 completed clinical studies involving cannabidiol in the US.

(Clinical Trials) (CREU) (Clinical Leader)

Healthcare industry statistics state that conducting a clinical trial on CBD in the US costs millions of dollars and approximately six months of paperwork. The increased costs of clinical supplies and equipment, the shortage of competent workforce, and mounting regulation contribute to the evident increase in funding needed to conduct a clinical trial.

Most of the research in the US is done by private parties in contrast with other countries such as Israel, for example, where in 2017 the government invested $2.13 million in clinical research studies that explore the effects of cannabis extracts.

Albeit the number of CBD users is significantly bigger, the ongoing research numbers are comparable to those of the EU as shown in the healthcare statistics for 2019. The Clinical Trials Register in the EU currently counts 24 ongoing and 29 finished clinical trials involving cannabidiol.

The good news: NIH is about to invest $3 million in new research.

36. In 2018, there were 21,000 new, well-paid job positions in the cannabis industry in the US.


Both manufacturers and distributors of cannabis-related products experienced a massive job creation in 2018, accounting for 71% of all the job positions created in related industry areas.

Because of medicinal marijuana, these figures became a part of the healthcare industry statistics, but since cannabis is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance, there were no official records of the created job positions.

Instead, the alternative sources reveal an increase of 44% in the cannabis industry workforce since 2017. This is more than twice as of 2016. For comparison, in 2018 there were 40,000 new job posts for computer operators in the US.

The median salary of cannabis workers of all levels is 11% percent above the US median salary.


Healthcare is the most important aspect of safety and stability in our lives as citizens. We can only manage to avoid trouble and cope with the ever-present changes in healthcare by understanding the information we have, and by using it intelligently.

Healthcare statistics can help us adapt to, keep pace with, take advantage of, and enjoy the changes to come. Soon enough, we could be looking forward to CBD getting a bigger role in them as well.


Why are statistics important in the healthcare field?

Statistics are crucial pieces of information used in making political and economic projections, as well as political, economic, and personal decisions following those projections. Creating and managing national healthcare policies, laws, and regulations are conditioned by correct information and trend statistics in order to improve healthcare protections and give guidance for medical innovations and allocation of public and private funds.

These are only some of the many reasons that attest to the importance of statistics in healthcare.


How much does the healthcare industry make a year?

The healthcare industry makes around 20 to 25% of the national expenditures on healthcare for a specific year. For 2018, the expenditures were a staggering $3.67 trillion; hence, making the estimated healthcare revenue somewhere around $800 billion.

Overall, there is a steady growth in revenue within all subcategories of this industry, including hospital care, professional services, research, and more.

(HCT advisor)

How much does the average person spend on medical care?

In 2018, an average American spent around $10,300 on healthcare. What’s more, according to the latest stats on the ACA, the average premium was around $440 per month, whereas family plans averaged about $1,168 per month.

Though, do keep in mind that medical costs change all the time, following a faster or slower upward pace.


Why is it important to have health care?

Healthcare is one of the most basic requirements for a good quality of life. It assures medical care in every situation and in that way prolongs life expectancy. Healthcare insurance plans prevent personal bankruptcy following an unexpected health-related condition or event.

Additionally, being adequately covered is also important as underinsured individuals lack access to added services and treatments that could potentially be life-saving (depending on their condition).


What are some of the typical healthcare statistics collected and reported?

Some of the typically collected stats fall into these categories:

  • medical insurance, plans, and enrollment
  • healthcare expenditures and their distribution in different sectors
  • diseases, conditions, and infectious statistics
  • population numbers and age
  • prevalence of disabilities and risk factors


List of Sources:

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