Growth in health spending slows

Growth in health spending slows

Increased utilization from enrollment expansion and the increasing prevalence of high deductible health plans are likely to have contributed to the trend: 29% of covered workers in 2016 had a high-deductible plan, and average private health insurance deductibles rose 12%. Last year, on a per enrollee basis, Medicaid spending increased 0.9%, down from 4.5% in 2015, which reflects increased efforts by states to control costs, a decline in supplemental payments to hospitals, and a decrease in per enrollee costs for newly eligible adults. All 3 major payers-private health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare-also saw lower rates of spending growth.

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.

CMS blamed the lethargic SNF spending growth on a slowdown in both public and private health insurance outlays: Medicare spending on skilled nursing and CCRC care rose 4.0% in 2015 and just 1.2% in 2016, while private expenditures rose 5.9% a year ago - as compare to a sizable 14.3% in 2015.

Together, Medicare and Medicaid made up 77% of home health spending in 2016.

The National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) are the official estimates of total health care spending in the United States.

Spending for freestanding home health care agencies increased 4% in 2016, to $92.4 billion.

Physician and clinical services spending slowed from a growth rate of 5.9% in 2015 to 5.4% in 2016, with total physician and clinical services expenditures reaching $664.9 billion, or 20% of overall healthcare spending.

Retail prescription spending increased 1.3% in 2016, growing to $328.6 billion - roughly 10% of overall health spending. CMS said that a downturn in enrollment growth, as well as lower retail prescription drug spending. In 2015, spending for the sector accelerated 5.8%.

The pace of health care spending in America slowed in 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported Wednesday.

The fraction of uninsured Americans fell 2.8%, from 29.5 million in 2015 to 28.6 million in 2016, a stark slowdown from 2014 and 2015 where the number fell by more than 17% both years.

The 8.2% spending growth for clinical services almost doubled the 4.6% growth in spending for physician services for the twelfth consecutive year. CMS attributed the previous large increases to the introduction of new drugs and higher prices for existing drugs, particularly those used to help treat hepatitis C. During the years of the initial impacts of the ACA expansion, Medicaid spending rose 9.5% last year and 11.5% in 2014 as individuals gained coverage.

Private health insurance spending climbed 5.1 percent to $1.1 trillion a year ago, Medicare spending increased 3.6 percent to $672.1 billion, and Medicaid spending rose 3.9 percent to $565.5 billion.