U.S. spending on health care grew 3.9 percent in 2017, down from 4.8 percent in 2016 and less than the growth in the overall economy, primarily due to slower growth in spending for hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs – a category that excludes inpatient drugs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported today in Health Affairs. Federal spending on health care slowed to 3.2 percent, largely due to lower growth in Medicaid spending. Private health insurance spending also slowed due to slower growth in medical benefits and the suspension of the health insurance provider fee. Slower growth in fee-for-service Medicare offset faster growth in spending for Medicare private health plans as more beneficiaries enroll in Medicare Advantage.
 
Ashley Thompson, AHA senior vice president for public policy, said, “These numbers reflect the efforts made by hospitals and health systems to contain costs. They have also managed to slow price growth to under 2 percent during each of the last four years – despite an increased demand for emergency care due to major natural disasters and epidemics. Making care more affordable is a big challenge, but hospitals are tackling it head on to help consumers.”

Related News Articles

Headline
Gov. Gina Raimondo this week signed an executive order establishing a 3.2 percent target for health care spending growth in Rhode Island through 2022.
Headline
Employment at the nation's hospitals rose by 0.36 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted 5,214,200 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
Headline
Connecticut hospitals and health systems generated $27.7 billion in economic activity in 2017, and invested $1.7 billion in community benefit initiatives.
Headline
New Jersey hospitals contributed $23.6 billion and more than 150,000 jobs to the state economy in 2017, according to the latest report by the New Jersey…
Headline
Employment at the nation's hospitals rose by 0.14 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted 5,231,800 people, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday…
Headline
Medicare and Medicaid underpaid U.S. hospitals by $76.8 billion in 2017, according to the latest data from the AHA's Annual Survey of Hospitals.