U.S. spending on health care grew 4.3% in 2016, down from 5.8% in 2015, primarily due to slower growth in spending for retail prescription drugs, hospital care, and physician and clinical services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported today in Health Affairs. Spending growth slowed for all three major payers – private health insurance, Medicaid and Medicare. For private health insurance and Medicaid, the slower growth was influenced by decelerated enrollment growth, while Medicare spending slowed because of lower per enrollee growth rates. “Over the last decade, the U.S. has experienced unique events that have affected the health care sector, including the most severe economic recession since the Great Depression, major changes to the health care system because of the [Affordable Care Act], and historic lows in medical price inflation,” said Micah Hartman, a statistician in CMS’s Office of the Actuary and lead author of the study. “In 2016, the slowdown in health care spending followed significant insurance coverage expansions under the ACA and very strong growth in retail prescription drug spending in 2014 and 2015.”

Related News Articles

Headline
The Centers for Medicare…
Headline
The Montana legislature last week passed legislation funding Medicaid coverage for low-income adults for six more years.
Headline
The proportion of hospital emergency department visits by uninsured patients declined 2.1 percentage points per year between 2014 and 2016, just after the…
Headline
The Food and Drug Administration Friday approved the first generic naloxone nasal spray, an emergency treatment for opioid overdose intended for use in the…
Headline
April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an opportunity for the public to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription pills at sites…
Headline
The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund will have sufficient funds to pay full benefits until 2026, according to the latest annual report from the Medicare…