CMS: National Health Spending Grows 3.9% in 2011

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In 2011, national healthcare expenditures only grew 3.9 percent due to the continued economic slog, which is similar to 2010, and the total 2011 national healthcare expenditure figure was $2.7 trillion compared with $2.59 trillion in 2010, according to CMS Office of the Actuary estimates released in Health Affairs.

For 2011 through 2021, national healthcare expenditures are expected to increase at a higher average rate of 5.7 percent per year, which is 0.9 percent faster than the expected annual growth in gross domestic product over the same time span. By the time 2021 rolls around, national health spending is projected to hit more than $4.78 trillion.

Hospital care again represented the largest portion of personal healthcare expenses. In 2011, $848.9 billion went toward hospital services. That figure is expected to be $982.7 billion in 2014 and $1.5 trillion in 2021. Per capita costs, meanwhile, were $8,660.50 in 2011 compared with $8,402.30 in 2010.

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The eight authors of the report, all of whom are part of the CMS Office of the Actuary, concluded the aftereffects of the recent economic recession in 2008, subpar recovery and consumer wariness to spend were the main culprits to the slow spending growth last year. However, as more provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act take form in 2014 and beyond, health spending should see "notable" upticks, particularly on physician services and prescription drugs.

"By the end of the projection period, higher income growth and the continuing shift of baby boomers into Medicare are expected to cause health spending to grow roughly two percentage points faster than overall economic growth, which is about the same differential experienced over the past 30 years," according to the report.

More Articles on National Healthcare Expenditures:

8 Statistics on U.S. Distribution of Healthcare Expenditures

President Obama's FY 2013 Budget Cuts Healthcare Spending by $360B

Single-Payor Healthcare: What Could it Do on the National Stage?

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