National Health Expenditures Continued Slow Growth In 2013

According to CMS, health spending continued to grow at a slow rate last year at the Office of the Actuary (OACT). In 2013, health spending grew at 3.6 percent and total national health expenditures in the country reached $2.9 trillion, or $9,255 person. The annual OACT report shows health spending continued a pattern of low growth – between 3.6 percent and 4.1 percent for five consecutive years.

Other findings from the report include:

  •  Medicare spending, which represented 20 percent of national health spending in 2013, grew 3.4 percent to $585.7 billion, a slowdown from growth of 4.0 percent in 2012. This slowdown was primarily caused by a deceleration in Medicare enrollment growth, as well as net impacts from the Affordable Care Act and sequestration. Per-enrollee Medicare spending grew at about the same rate as 2012, increasing just 0.2 percent in 2013.

  • Medicaid spending grew 6.1 percent in 2013 to $449.4 billion, an acceleration from 4.0 percent growth in 2012. Faster Medicaid growth in 2013 was driven in part by increases in provider reimbursement rates and some states’ expanding benefits.

  • Spending for physician and clinical services increased 3.8 percent in 2013 to $586.7 billion, from 4.5 percent growth in 2012. Slower price growth in 2013 was the main cause of the slowdown, as prices grew less than 0.1 percent. Growth in spending from private health insurance and Medicare, the two largest payers of physician and clinical services, experienced slower spending growth in 2013, while Medicaid growth accelerated as a result of temporary increases in payments to primary care physicians.

Click here for more information from CMS.

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