CMS: Healthcare spending growth slowed in 2016; per capita spending topped $10K

money
A new report from CMS found that healthcare spending growth slowed in 2016.

Healthcare spending growth slowed in 2016 following two years of rapid growth in 2014 and 2015, according to a new report. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary issued its annual spending analysis, and in 2016 healthcare spending grew at a rate of 4.3%, reaching $3.3 trillion, according to the report (PDF). Compared to past years, the rate slowed, which the researchers said is likely due to a burst of insurance enrollment in the first years that the Affordable Care Act was in full effect. 

"The report concludes that the 2016 expenditure slowdown was broadly based as growth for all major payers (private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid) and goods and service categories (hospitals, physician and clinical services and retail prescription drugs) slowed in 2016," CMS said in an announcement.

Webinar

On-Demand Webinar: Using Secure Patient Communications for Curbside Check-In

Learn how healthcare organizations are using virtual check-in to deliver patient-centric experiences that are safe, convenient and secure. Watch this 30-minute on-demand webinar to learn more.

Per capita spending topped $10,000 in 2016, according to the report. Spending per person last year was $10,348, an increase of $358 from the year before. Out-of-pocket spending increased by the largest margin since 2007, according to the report, growing 3.9%. Such spending accounts for 11% of healthcare spending, a figure that has remained flat since 2012. 

RELATED: Healthcare spending trends may damage U.S. economy 

The share of the economy dedicated to healthcare spending increased slightly, from 17.7% to 17.9%. That share grew faster than the nation's gross domestic product, according to the actuary, which increased by 2.8%. 

While enrollment trends slowed spending for private and Medicaid spending, slower per-enrollee spending growth drove a decrease in Medicare spending. Spending on retail prescription drugs also decreased, another key factor. 

Though coverage spikes under the ACA that drive significant growth over the past several years are slowing, experts expect healthcare spending to continue to increase due to an aging population and growing healthcare costs. 

Suggested Articles

Insurers on the individual market remained profitable in the first quarter of 2020 as COVID-19 caused health utilization to dramatically drop.

Senate Democrats are calling for $25 billion to help ensure that a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed at no cost to the public when it gets approved.

Patients with ESRD are eligible to begin enrolling in MA plans starting next year, and insurers must be prepared to adapt to their needs.