Healthcare spending through 2023: 15 things to know

The gradual rebound in the U.S. economy is expected to help propel healthcare spending through 2023, according to a recent report from CMS' Office of the Actuary published in Health Affairs.

Here are 15 things to know about healthcare spending from 2013 to 2023.

1. National health spending growth is expected to have increased 3.6 percent in 2013. Based on the projections, 2013 would mark the fifth consecutive year healthcare spending growth was under 4 percent.

2. A number of factors contributed to the slow spending growth in 2013, including the sluggish economy, sequestration cuts that reduced payments to healthcare providers starting in 2013 and the continued slow growth in the use of Medicare services.

3. Medicare spending declined between 2013 and 2014 on a per person basis, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

4. CMS has projected Medicare spending growth will accelerate to 7.4 percent annually from 2015 to 2022 because of rising enrollment, greater utilization, increased severity of illness and faster growth in input prices.

5. A recent Health Affairs report attributed 70 percent of the decline in healthcare spending growth to the economic downturn. The report concluded that absent any other changes in healthcare, economic recovery in the U.S. would result in an increase in healthcare spending.

6. An increase in the adoption of high-deductible health plans also contributed to the slow healthcare spending growth in 2013, according to the Health Affairs report. The high-deductible plans force consumers to pay more out-of-pocket costs, which causes people to restrain their healthcare spending.

7. Spending on Medicaid services was 6.7 percent in 2013, up from 3.3 percent in 2012. The increase was partially due to temporary payment increases for primary care physicians under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

8. In 2014, national healthcare spending is projected to increase to 5.6 percent. The increase in spending is largely attributable to the decrease in the uninsured population. From January 2012 to June 2014 approximately 10.3 million American adults gained health insurance coverage, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

9. In addition, the availability of more coverage options on the insurance marketplaces is projected to lead to 12.8 percent spending growth for Medicaid and 6.8 percent spending growth for private health insurance in 2014.

10. National healthcare spending is expected to slow to 4.9 percent in 2015. The slowdown is attributable to significant cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending, according to the Health Affairs report.

11. From 2013 to 2015, national healthcare spending is projected to grow 4.7 percent.

12. From 2016 to 2023, healthcare spending is projected to grow 6.1 percent per year. Spending during this period is expected to be higher than the previous three years due to increases in disposable personal income and private health insurance enrollment, which are both attributable to improved economic conditions.

13. The gradual rebound of the U.S. economy and the percentage of the aging population who has gained insurance under the PPACA are expected to propel healthcare spending through 2023, with spending projected to increase at an average rate of 5.7 percent from 2013 to 2023, according to the Health Affairs report.

14. Healthcare's share of the gross domestic product is expected to rise from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 19 percent in 2023.

15. Although healthcare's share of the GDP is expected to rise over the next decade, it is at a slower rate than then 7.2 percent average annual growth experienced from 1990 to 2008, which was 2 percent faster than growth in GDP.

More articles on healthcare spending:

CBO lowers Medicare, Medicaid cost estimates: 3 things to know
10 things to know about specialty drug spending 
7 healthcare controversies to watch for Midterms 2014

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