Study: Healthcare Spending Slowdown to Reverse in 2014

Although healthcare spending growth has slowed in recent years, data from 2013 and the first quarter of this year indicate the trend is reversing, according to an analysis by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization.

From 2009 to 2012, healthcare spending declined from 17.4 percent of gross domestic project to 17.2 percent, according to the NPCA. However, preliminary estimates — based on National Income and Product Accounts data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis — show healthcare spending went back up to 17.4 percent of GDP during the first quarter of 2014. Furthermore, real per capita GDP growth from the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014 was 0.8 percent, while real per capita healthcare spending showed a 2.2 percent growth rate, according to the analysis.

Data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis last month indicated healthcare spending decreased by 1.4 percent year-over-year during the first quarter of this year. Overall, the GDP shrank by 2.9 percent year-over-year, according to the data. These numbers contrast significantly with a preliminary report the BEA released earlier this year, which indicated healthcare spending skyrocketed by 9.9 percent year-over-year.

A White House blog post about the latest BEA data maintains that healthcare spending growth will accelerate in the near future as millions gain coverage under the PPACA, despite the decline in the first quarter. "Because health care spending can be volatile on a quarter-to-quarter basis (2013:Q4, for example, was estimated to have seen growth somewhat above the recent trend), it can be useful to look at a longer time period," Jason Furman, chairman of the council of economic advisors, wrote in a blog post.

More Articles on Healthcare Spending Growth:
Excess Cost Growth in Healthcare Spending: 4 Things to Know From the CBO  
The History of Healthcare Spending Growth: 3 Key Takeaways
Healthcare Spending Decreased in Q1, Bureau of Economic Analysis Finds 


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