CMS reports slowed health spending growth

CMS reports slowed health spending growth

US health care spending grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion or $10,348 per person. Per-enrollee spending also increased at a slower rate than 2015 - 0.8% compared with 2.1%.

Spending on retail prescription drugs grew by only 1.3 percent, to $328.6 billion, in 2016.

In an online report and a media conference call, CMS attributed faster spending growth in 2014 and 2015 to the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and its related Medicaid expansion, which together extended health insurance to almost 19 million people. As a share of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.9 percent. State and local Medicaid expenditures grew 3.2%, while federal Medicaid expenditures grew 4.4% in 2016.

During 2015, USA health care spending was 17.7% of gross domestic product.

Roughly 10.2 million people gained Medicaid coverage in 2014 and 2015 combined, and 8.7 million people gained private health insurance, taking the insured percentage of the population from 86 percent in 2013 to almost 91 percent in 2015.

Together, Medicare and Medicaid made up 77% of home health spending in 2016. Spending for the program grew at 3.6% in 2016-slowing from 4.8% growth in 2015-while enrollment growth was stable. Medicaid spending hit $565.5 billion past year, making up 17% of all national health expenditures. In contrast, Medicaid spending had shot up by 11.5 percent in 2014, and 9.5 percent in 2015.

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When not writing about all things home health, Amy fulfills her lifelong dream of becoming a pirate by sailing in regattas and enjoying rum.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released new data from 2016 showing that upward trajectory of USA healthcare spending has slowed.

On a per enrollee basis, Medicaid spending increased 0.9% compared to 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. The deceleration was largely driven by slower enrollment growth in 2016 after two years of faster enrollment growth due to ACA coverage expansion.

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

As the spending rate for USA health services slowed down across most forms of healthcare industries, there was one section that increased: out-of-pocket health charges. Medicaid goods and services-with the exception of nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities-experienced decelerating growth in 2016.

Spending on retail prescription drugs grew 1.3 percent in 2016 compared with 12.4 percent in 2014 and 8.9 percent in 2015. 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.

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