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Home Health Care Spending Rose Modestly in 2016

08 December 2017

And they told reporters they could not recall another time before previous year that spending growth had slowed for all three major payers - private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid - and for goods and services, too.

During the previous two years, health care spending in the US rose by 4.3% as a result of prescription drug purchases induced by Obamacare.

Out-of-pocket health spending grew by 3.9 percent to $352.5 billion in 2016, up from 2.8 percent growth in 2015.

Medicaid, a partially-run federal health insurance program for the poor, grew by 3.9% last year which was a drastic decrease from the previous two years (11.5% in 2014 and 9.5% in 2015).

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The rate of spending growth for 2016 is more in-line with the average of 4.2% growth seen between 2008 and 2015.

USA health care spending grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion or $10,348 per person.

That higher growth in those years was due in part to the addition of 19 million Americans to the ranks of people insured by either private insurance or Medicaid as a result of the Affordable Care Act. "This includes Medicaid, private health insurance, and Medicare, as well as retail prescription drugs, hospital care, and physician and clinical services".

The slower growth in 2016 may indicate a return to a more normal trend with future factors based on economic conditions and shifting demographics, the authors write.

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These charges included deductibles, copayments, and expenses not covered by insurance under Obamacare.

In 2014 and 2015, spending increased 5.1% and 5.8%, respectively, as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage through Marketplace plans and Medicaid. The notable slowdown in private health insurance spending was mainly driven by slower enrollment growth, slower growth in spending for retail prescription drugs, and a continued shift to high-deductible plans.

In all, payers spent $162.7 billion on care at nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), an increase of 2.9% from 2015.

The 8.2% spending growth for clinical services almost doubled the 4.6% growth in spending for physician services for the twelfth consecutive year. Slower growth was due in part to slower enrollment growth and was partly offset by faster growth in hospital prices, which accelerated slightly from 0.9% in 2015 to 1.2% a year ago. CMS attributed the previous large increases to the introduction of new drugs and higher prices for existing drugs, particularly those used to help treat hepatitis C.

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Private health insurance spending grew by 5.1 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2016, markedly slower than the 6.9 percent increase seen the prior year. However, spending growth slowed to 3.6 percent from 4.8 percent in 2015, driven by slower spending per enrollee on both the fee-for-service and Medicare Advantage portions of the program.

Home Health Care Spending Rose Modestly in 2016