Skilled Nursing Spending Growth Slowed in 2016

Skilled Nursing Spending Growth Slowed in 2016

Skilled Nursing Spending Growth Slowed in 2016

During the previous two years, health care spending in the US rose by 4.3% as a result of prescription drug purchases induced by Obamacare. "This includes Medicaid, private health insurance, and Medicare, as well as retail prescription drugs, hospital care, and physician and clinical services".

As the spending rate for USA health services slowed down across most forms of healthcare industries, there was one section that increased: out-of-pocket health charges.

In an online report and a media conference call, CMS attributed faster spending growth in 2014 and 2015 to the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act and its related Medicaid expansion, which together extended health insurance to almost 19 million people. All 3 major payers-private health insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare-also saw lower rates of spending growth.

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Retail prescription spending increased 1.3% in 2016, growing to $328.6 billion - roughly 10% of overall health spending.

Private health insurance spending grew by 5.1 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2016, markedly slower than the 6.9 percent increase seen the prior year. The drop-off in 2016 can be attributed to a decline in spending for drugs used to treat hepatitis C, the introduction of fewer new drugs, and slower growth in prices for both brand name and generic drugs.

Medicaid spending growth grew 3.9% to $565.5 billion in 2016.

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Spending for freestanding home health care agencies increased 4% in 2016, to $92.4 billion. Dating back to 1960, the NHEA measures annual USA expenditures for health care goods and services, public health activities, government administration, the net cost of health insurance, and investment related to health care. The deceleration was largely driven by slower enrollment growth in 2016 after two years of faster enrollment growth due to ACA coverage expansion.

Among goods and services, retail prescription drugs saw the lowest growth rate, with physician and clinical services, which make up 20% of overall health spend, up 5.4% and hospital spending up 4.7%, making it 32% of all healthcare spending. A year before, spending on such drugs grew by 8.9 percent, and in 2014 by 12.4 percent.

The total out-of-pocket health care spending in 2016 increased by 3.9%, a one percent increase from 2015's out-of-pocket rate of 2.8%. "In 2016, the slowdown in health care spending followed significant insurance coverage expansions under the ACA and very strong growth in retail prescription drug spending in 2014 and 2015". That's slower than the 3.7% growth between 2014 and 2015, CMS's Office of the Actuary noted in a Wednesday release. Last year, on a per enrollee basis, Medicaid spending increased 0.9%, down from 4.5% in 2015, which reflects increased efforts by states to control costs, a decline in supplemental payments to hospitals, and a decrease in per enrollee costs for newly eligible adults. Despite large fluctuations in growth rates over the past several years, the 10% share of national health spending is similar to the share in 2009.

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