Total National Health Spending Growth Decelerated in 2016

The total overall spending by patients and payers on healthcare grew at a slower pace in 2016, according to an annual report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT). In 2016, national health expenditures grew by 4.3 percent, which is less than the 5.8 percent growth seen in 2015.

This data represents spending by commercial and government payers on reimbursements for healthcare services as well as spending by individuals on health insurance premiums, out-of-pocket healthcare costs and prescription drugs. The data is further explained and analyzed in a Health Affairs post.

According to the report, healthcare spending grew 1.5 percentage points faster than the overall economy in 2016, resulting in a 0.2 percentage-point increase in the health spending share of the economy – from 17.7 percent in 2015 to 17.9 percent in 2016.

In 2016, the federal government and households accounted for the largest shares of spending (28 percent each) followed by private businesses (20 percent), state and local governments (17 percent), and other private revenue (7 percent).

As has been previously reported by OACT, Medicare spending growth slowed in 2016 from about five percent growth in 2014 and 2015 to 3.6 percent growth in 2016. Medicare spent a total of $672.1 billion in 2016

However, Medicaid spending grew at a faster rate in 2016. State and local spending on Medicaid increased by 3.2 percent while the federal share of Medicaid spending grew by 4.4 percent in 2016 translating to total Medicaid spending of $565.5 billion.

Out-of-pocket spending by consumers grew 3.9 percent to $352.5 billion in 2016, faster than the 2.8 percent growth in 2015. Private health insurance spending on benefits increased 5.1 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2016, which was slower than the 6.9 percent growth in 2015.

As always, ADVOCATE will keep you up to date on this and all issues impacting radiology as they become available.

Best regards,
Kirk Reinitz, CPA