Inflation has had a profound impact on all areas of the economy, including healthcare. Even as signs indicate that inflation is slowing, medical costs are growing. Inflation and affordability are expected to have a major impact on the healthcare industry. This puts healthcare organizations in a difficult spot because overall inflation is growing at about 6% to 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and healthcare costs are rising at a much lower rate, about 5%. This has left many healthcare organizations struggling to make ends meet as wage inflation and higher supply costs, including medical gases, have squeezed hospitals and health systems financially.
For 2025–31, US national health spending is projected to increase at an average rate of 5.6%, higher than the average growth rate of 4.2% projected for GDP. This is partly as a result of faster projected average growth in medical prices (2.8%) compared with economywide price growth (2.1%).
We last reported on the US healthcare market in February 2023 (see “Healthcare market report” gasworld US Edition, February 2023, p. 46). And what a difference a year makes. We also reported how diligently our industry has supported the healthcare system through the pandemic, ensuring hospitals received the therapeutic oxygen required to treat Covid-19 patients. Our industry also supported the medical gas systems and their design as they are critical to the life support of patients served. Major industrial gas companies continue to prioritize the supply of oxygen and the essential medical gases to support hospitals and medical professionals by proactively working to understand and meet medical gas supply needs.
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