Health care spending slows down

Health care spending slows down

Health care spending slows down

On a per enrollee basis, private health insurance spending increased 5.1% in 2016, about the same as 2015. The data are presented by type of service, sources of funding, and type of sponsor.

On Wednesday, a federal study conducted by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showed that while the overall spending for health services increased in 2016 ($3.3 trillion), the pace at which spending for healthcare slowed down drastically compared to the previous two years.

But because health spending grew faster, as it has for years, than overall gross domestic product, health spending's share of the economy increased to 17.9 percent in 2016, up from 17.7 percent of the economy the year before.

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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.

"Because the unique factors that influenced the health sector over the past decade did not have as great an effect in 2016, this may be an initial indication that this year marks a return to the more typical relationship between annual rates of growth in healthcare spending and growth in nominal GDP", the paper states.

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Both private and public forms of medical insurance, prescription drugs, medical goods, Medicare, Medicaid and health services were affected by the weakening demand for these forms of treatment in 2016, making it clear that most Americans found the Affordable Healthcare Act not so affordable.

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.

The 8.2% spending growth for clinical services almost doubled the 4.6% growth in spending for physician services for the twelfth consecutive year.

The total out-of-pocket health care spending in 2016 increased by 3.9%, a one percent increase from 2015's out-of-pocket rate of 2.8%. Medicaid spending in 2014 grew 11.5%, and 9.5% in 2015. Medicare spending grew 3.6% to $671.2 billion in 2016, compared with 4.8% in 2015, while reporting stable enrollment growth. 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. Medicaid goods and services-with the exception of nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities-experienced decelerating growth in 2016.

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.

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