CMS Touts Lower Healthcare Spending, Readmissions Under PPACA

Yesterday, CMS said President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, has already made a sizable impact on the country's healthcare system through reduced spending and increased health outcomes.

Jonathan Blum, deputy administrator director of CMS, released the new figures at a Senate Finance Committee hearing yesterday, saying the law has already made "significant progress" in improving the U.S. health system.

CMS cited its most recent national healthcare expenditures report, which said health spending grew only 3.9 percent in 2011 — the third straight year of historically slow growth. Total expenditures hit $2.7 trillion, but Medicare spending per beneficiary only grew 0.4 percent.

Hospital readmissions for Medicare patients have also declined. CMS said the 30-day, all-cause readmission rate dropped from 19 percent over the past five years to 17.8 percent, as of November 2012 — or roughly 70,000 fewer readmissions in 2012.

CMS credited the figures to several measures of the PPACA, including the Readmission Reduction Program, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program and other initiatives that have spurred the development of accountable care organizations and shared-savings models.

More Articles on the PPACA:

Financial Modeling: Predictive Insight into Value-Based Care Success
Based on Massachusetts ' Health Overhaul, What Can the Nation Expect in 2014?
HHS Issues Final Rule on PPACA's Essential Health Benefits

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