Growth in health spending slows

Growth in health spending slows

The report estimates that in 2016, healthcare spending grew at a rate of 4.3% to $3.3 trillion, or $10,348 per person.

Enrollment in a health insurance plan on HealthCare.gov is up by 21 percent from previous year among SC residents, with a little more than a week to go in the open enrollment period, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The slowdown in health spending growth was seen broadly across all major forms of private and public insurance, and in medical services, prescription drugs and other goods, according to an official analysis released Wednesday. "This includes Medicaid, private health insurance, and Medicare, as well as retail prescription drugs, hospital care, and physician and clinical services".

CMS said that that nationwide, more people have signed up for coverage on the website this year than ever before.

"Basically, we saw two major things happening in 2014 and 2015". Another factor was faster growth in spending on retail prescription drugs during those years.

Those two factors accelerated spending growth more than it had in recent years. Dating back to 1960, the NHEA measures annual US expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care.


During the previous two years, health care spending in the USA rose by 4.3% as a result of prescription drug purchases induced by Obamacare. Changes in the age and gender mix of the population accounted for a 0.6 percentage point of the growth in per capita health spending.

Hospital spending hit $1.1 trillion and represented 32% of overall healthcare spending. That is down from 5.7% in 2015. CMS said that a downturn in enrollment growth, as well as lower retail prescription drug spending.

"The faster growth in 2016 was due in part to a continued shift towards enrollment in high-deductible health plans, which was somewhat offset by a continued decrease in the number of uninsured in 2016", according to CMS. Physician and clinical servicesPhysician and clinical services spending slowed from a growth rate of 5.9% in 2015 to 5.4% in 2016. But that it only grew at a rate of 4.3% - down from the 5.1% and 5.8% spending growth rates seen in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Clinical services spending growth was driven primarily by freestanding ambulatory surgical and emergency centers.

The health spending share of the economy was 17.9% in 2016. By 2016, however, the rate of spending growth was more in line with the average annual rate of 4.2% from 2008-15, Hartman said. Republicans in Congress have tried unsuccessfully to cap federal Medicaid spending to states to help control growth in the program, an effort opposed by Democrats and advocates for the poor. For private health insurance and Medicaid, the slower growth was influenced by decelerated enrollment growth.

Growth in USA health spending slowed considerably in 2016, rising by 4.3 percent, after two years of higher spending growth spurred by Obamacare and prescription drugs.

One exception to the slowdown in 2016 was spending on out-of-pocket health charges - including, copayments and deductibles, and spending not covered by insurance - which grew at their fastest rates since 2007. On a per enrollee basis, private health insurance spending increased 5.1% in 2016, about the same as 2015. Total expenditures in this category reached $664.9 billion, or 20% of overall healthcare spending.

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