Health Care

Care spending growth slowed considerably in 2016

Care spending growth slowed considerably in 2016

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.

The overall slowdown was highlighted by the National Health Expenditure report issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of the Actuary.

Medicare, a federal program providing insurance coverage for senior citizens, grew by 3.6% in 2016, roughly a one percent decrease compared to the previous two years (4.9% in 2014 and 4.8% in 2015).

Enrollment in a health insurance plan on HealthCare.gov is up by 21 percent from previous year among SC residents, with a little more than a week to go in the open enrollment period, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Broadcom Limited Ord (NASDAQ:AVGO) on Focus After Report of Less Shorts
It got $1.959B in cash from operations and $3.98B from issuing long-term debt, along with $440M from sale of real property. The company reported the earnings of $0.73/Share in the last quarter where the estimated EPS by analysts was $0.69/share.

Spending on retail prescription drugs grew by only 1.3 percent, to $328.6 billion, in 2016. That was due to slower enrollment growth, which was partly offset by faster growth in hospital prices, which accelerated slightly from 0.9% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2016. Changes in the age and gender mix of the population accounted for 0.6 percentage point of the growth in per capita health spending. In contrast, Medicaid spending had shot up by 11.5 percent in 2014, and 9.5 percent in 2015.

The slower growth in 2016 may indicate a return to a more normal trend with future factors based on economic conditions and shifting demographics, the authors write. CMS attributed much of the increase to a shift toward enrollment in health insurance plans that have high deductible payments. Medicare spending had increased by 4.8 percent in 2015 and 4.9 percent in 2014.

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. In 2016, however, this number increased to 17.9%.

Medicaid spending growth grew 3.9% to $565.5 billion in 2016. Last year, 22 new medicines were approved, compared with 45 in 2015 and 41 in 2014. Medicaid goods and services-with the exception of nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities-experienced decelerating growth in 2016. On a per-capita basis, spending grew at 3.5%, reaching $10,348 previous year. Growth in spending for retail prescription drugs increased 1.3% percent in 2016, following much stronger growth rates in 2014 and 2015 (12.4% and 8.9%, respectively). 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. The share of spending made up of retail prescription drug is similar to what it was in 2009, CMS said.


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