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US Healthcare Spending Reaches $10k Per Person

12 Dec

US Healthcare Spending Reaches $10k Per Person

A new report from the Office of Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reveals that healthcare spending grew to $3.2 trillion dollars in the United States in 2015. This comes out to about $10,000 per person, a growth of rate of 5.8%.

According to the report, published on HealthAffairs, the Affordable Care Act was still a huge factor in the increase in spending.

“The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending was 17.8 percent in 2015, up from 17.4 percent in 2014. Coverage expansions that began in 2014 as a result of the Affordable Care Act continued to affect health spending growth in 2015.”

Retail prescription drugs also played a large role in the growth. Drug spending grew by 9% in 2015, or 324.6 billion. New, higher cost medicines continue to be a huge contributor to this. Growth had been 12% in 2014 for the drug market, but, while there is a slight decline, it is still a singficant increased to 2014’s 2% growth (as pointed out by CMS). As always, some consumers affinity for brand name drugs, as opposed to generic offerings, pushes up the bottomline, as well.

As the population ages and the economy shifts, healthcare spending will only continue to grow. As noted in the report: “Continued strong growth in Medicaid (9.7 percent) and retail prescription drug spending (9.0 percent), albeit at a slower rate than in 2014, contributed to overall health care spending growth in 2015.”

The fate of the Affordable Care Act in 2017 will be another factor, although what that fate is exactly is hard to say. The new administration has been bullish on its promises to dismantle the ACA, but what services will take its place have yet to be determined. Changes are instore, no doubt, but how much this will or won’t effect healthcare spending is difficult to forecast.

Further reading: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2016/11/22/hlthaff.2016.1330

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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