FROM HEALTH AFFAIRS

Health spending is projected to grow on average 5.8% from 2015-2025, the same projected rate of grown as announced last year covering 2014-2024, according the CMS Office of the Actuary.

However, health care is projected to make up 20.1% of the economy at the end of the 10-year period, up from 17.5% in 2014, as health spending is projected to grow 1.3 percentage points faster than gross domestic product from 2015-2025. The analysis was published online July 13 in the journal Health Affairs.

Health spending for 2015 is projected to have grown 5.5%, up from 5.3% in 2014, and to have reached $3.2 trillion, driven in part by increased use of health services by newly insured patients. More than 9 in 10 (92%) of U.S. residents are projected to be insured by 2025, according to the actuary’s office.

While national spending per capita is projected to exceed $10,000 for the first time in 2016, spending growth is projected to slow to 4.8%, driven by slowdowns in Medicaid spending after 2 years of rapid growth.

Private health insurance expenditures are expected to grow at a similar rate (5.4%) through 2025, CMS actuaries said.

Medical price inflation slowed to 0.8% in 2015 from 1.4% in 2014. Hospital prices increased by 0.9% while prices for physician services dropped 1.1%, they noted.

Prescription drug spending is projected to grow an average of 6.7% from 2016 to 2025, slowing down from 12.2% in 2014 and 8.1% in 2015 when a number of high-priced specialty drugs, including those treating hepatitis C, were driving higher spending.

gtwachtman@frontlinemedcom.com

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