The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2028, two years earlier than projected last year, according to the latest annual report from the Medicare Board of Trustees. Still, that’s 11 years later than projected before passage of the Affordable Care Act, they note. The 75-year actuarial deficit in the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is projected at 0.73% of taxable payroll, up from 0.68% projected in last year’s report, primarily due to lower taxable payroll and higher projected use of inpatient hospital services. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, per-enrollee Medicare spending growth has averaged 1.4% over the past five years and is expected to remain lower than overall health spending growth over the next decade. However, Medicare costs for prescription drugs continue to exceed other cost growth, with average Part D spending per enrollee expected to grow 5.8% annually through 2025, the agency said. “Today’s Medicare Trustees report highlights the low per capita growth rate of spending for those who rely on the Medicare program,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “In addition, given that the trust fund is secure well into the next decade, it gives us time to have thoughtful discussions about how to improve the program and focus on real structural reforms. One concerning trend in the report is the high rate of growth in spending on prescription drugs which is reflective of what is being experienced across the entire system. This issue needs to be addressed by policymakers. Hospitals stand ready to work with policy makers and other stakeholders to continue to ensure Medicare is there for future generations.”