Dec 7, 2018
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U.S. healthcare spending stabilizes at 17.9% of GDP

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That finding is according to an article [Martin et al. 2018] by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary’s (OACT).

Total nominal US health care spending increased 3.9 percent to $3.5 trillion in 2017, slowing from growth of 4.8 percent in 2016..Slower growth in health care spending in 2017 was mainly attributable to the use and intensity of goods and services, particularly for hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs. Nearly all major sources of insurance and sponsors of health care experienced slower growth in 2017. On a per capita basis, spending on health care…reached $10,739 in 2017. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending was 17.9 percent in 2017, similar to the share in 2016.

While healthcare utilization decelerated, prices continued to increase.  Medical price growth accelerated from 1.3% in 2016 to 1.6% in 2017.

Note that Medicaid spending growth was slower than commercial or Medicare. Further, prescription drug prices–often demonized in the popular press–only rose by 0.4% compared to the prior year.

 

 



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