CMS: National Health Spending Growth Slows to 3.9% in 2017

U.S. spending on health care grew 3.9 percent in 2017, down from 4.8 percent in 2016 and less than the growth in the overall economy, primarily due to slower growth in spending for hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs – a category that excludes inpatient drugs, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported recently in Health Affairs. Federal spending on health care slowed to 3.2 percent, largely due to lower growth in Medicaid spending. Private health insurance spending also slowed due to slower growth in medical benefits and the suspension of the health insurance provider fee. Slower growth in fee-for-service Medicare offset faster growth in spending for Medicare private health plans as more beneficiaries enroll in Medicare Advantage.

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