AHIP launches new healthcare spending iPad app

America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) announced Monday the launch of a new interactive iPad app. AHIP officials say the app, "U.S. Health Care Spending 101," is meant to provide policymakers and stakeholders with comprehensive healthcare spending data in an easy-to-use digital format.

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"Rising healthcare costs are crushing our economy, making it harder for individuals and small businesses to afford coverage, and crowding out spending on other urgent national priorities," said AHIP president and CEO Karen Ignagni

"The national healthcare cost debate needs to be based on real data about what is driving the rise in health care spending. This new app provides policymakers and stakeholders with one-stop-shopping for health care cost data," she added.

The iPad app consolidates 50 years of data from the Congressional Budget Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Office of Management and Budget into a series of simple, interactive charts, say AHIP officials. App users can view historical and projected healthcare spending data at the national level, state-by-state, on a per capita basis or as a percent of gross domestic product.

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The app, which is available on iTunes, also provides a detailed breakdown of how much the nation is spending on different aspects of the healthcare system, such as hospital care, physician services, prescription drugs and health plan administrative costs, and how each of these components contributes to healthcare cost growth, officials say.