Slowdown in Healthcare Spending Growth - 8/17/15
New projections released by federal government actuaries indicate that the nation’s five year run of small increases in health care spending is approaching its end. As indicated by writer Margot Sanger-Katz, the projections suggest that health spending growth will average nearly six percent a year through twenty twenty-four, far higher than the four percent annual growth measured between two thousand and seven and twenty thirteen.
The actuaries tend to believe that the recent slowdown in healthcare spending growth is attributable to the recent economic slowdown rather than to permanent shifts in healthcare finance and delivery. The implication is that as the economy continues to rebound, healthcare spending growth will re-accelerated. But they still do not believe that health spending growth will return to the lofty levels experienced prior to the recession – an average of nine percent a year over three decades.
Not surprisingly, policymakers and analysts continue to scramble to identify ways to suppress healthcare spending growth. The Obama Administration has begun a series of demonstration programs in Medicare, targeted toward improving healthcare quality while reducing costs.