Healthcare spending hit $3.5T in 2017

Growth in national healthcare expenditures slowed to 3.9 percent in 2017 due to slower spending growth across most categories, including hospital care and physician services, according to CMS data first published by Health Affairs.

Here are five quick takeaways:

1. National healthcare spending hit $3.5 trillion in 2017, which equates to $10,739 per person.

2. Healthcare spending accounted for 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2017, on par with 2016's 18 percent share of GDP.

3. Growth in spending declined for the second year in a row. At 3.9 percent, healthcare spending growth was almost one percentage point lower than in 2016, when it grew 4.8 percent.

4. This year marks a continued decline in "use and intensity" of healthcare, bringing growth down to post-recession rates, according to CMS. Healthcare spending growth spiked in 2014 and 2015 as more Americans gained insurance via the ACA exchanges and Medicaid expansion, and expensive retail prescription drugs, like those for hepatitis C, hit the market.

5. Growth in hospital spending slowed to 4.6 percent in 2017 from 5.6 percent in 2016. Physician and clinical services saw a similar deceleration, with a spending growth rate of 4.2 percent compared to 5.6 percent in 2016.


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