According to the new annual report published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary, the U.S. healthcare spending growth had decreased from 2016 to 2017. Factors that had caused the decline in healthcare spending was the reduced use of hospital care, physician services and prescription drugs.
In 2017, the annual healthcare spending growth rate slowed to 3.9%, compared to a higher 4.8% in 2016, with total spending in 2017 summing $3.5 trillion, compared to $3.4 trillion in 2016. The slower growth rate in 2017 was comparable to the average annual growth rate from 2008 to 2013, which marked the Great Recession in the U.S.
Although the annual health spending growth is very slowly increasing, this is good news, according the CMS Administrator, Andy Slavitt, who stated that the growth rate is “evidence that the population health management that’s taken hold since the Affordable Care Act is working.”
Medicare expenditures increased by 1.7% in 2017, with the per capita spending for Medicare Advantage plans increasing from 1.7% in 2016 to 3.2% in 2017.
Prescription retail drug spending had slowed to only 0.4% in 2017, co,pared to a heftier 2.3% in 2016 and 8.9% in 2015. The shift to generic prescriptions, slower number of prescriptions dispensed, and a slower growth of use in high cost drug use are factors in the prescription drug spending decline.
Read the original article from Modern Healthcare here.