Health Spending Up 5.6% in 2014
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 09:38 AM

In 2014, overall health spending will grow by 5.6%, with spending on physician and clinical services increasing by 5.9%, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is estimating.  In terms of dollar amounts, overall healthcare spending was expected to increase from an estimated $2.9 trillion in 2013 to $5.2 trillion in 2023.

That trend will continue from 2015-2023, when health spending will grow at an average of about 6% annually. Spending on physician and clinical services is expected to rise by 3.8% in 2015, and then increase by an average of 6.0% from 2016-2023, CMS projected.

Those figures contrast with estimates for 2013, when health spending grew by a total of 3.6%, including a 3.3% increase in spending on physician and clinical services, said an economist in the CMS Office of the Actuary.

The slow growth in 2013 -- which marked the fifth consecutive year overall health spending increased by less than 4% -- was "due to the sluggish economic recovery, lower payment rate growth for Medicare due to sequestration and the Affordable Care Act, and continued increases in private healthcare cost-sharing requirements," in part from increased enrollment in high-deductible health plans.  The slow growth in physician and clinical care spending, in particular, was a result of the slow growth in prices for physician and clinical services, which was the slowest it has been since 2002.