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Dec202017

Looking A Little Deeper into CMS National Health Expenditure Report

Looking A Little Deeper into CMS National Health Expenditure Report
 

By Clive Riddle, December 20, 2017

 

 

The CMS Office of the Actuary recently released their annual National Health Expenditure Data, current and historical through 2016. We thought we’d take a slightly deeper look at data released to expand upon the publicized highlights.

 

CMS found that ”in 2016, overall national health spending increased 4.3 percent following 5.8 percent growth in 2015.” For comparison PwC in their annual Behind The Numbers medical cost trend report pegged the number at 6.8% in 2015; 6.2% in 2016; 6.0% in 2017 and project 6.5% for 2018. Of course overall national health expenditures measured by CMS are not an identical universe to how PwC measures medical cost trend.

 

The portion of national GDP that healthcare consumes has been one of the most used comparative measures of healthcare to the overall economy. CMS found that “During 2014 and 2015, the health spending share of the economy increased 0.5 percentage point from 17.2 percent in 2013 to 17.7 percent in 2015. Health care spending grew 1.5 percentage points faster than the overall economy in 2016, resulting in a 0.2 percentage-point increase in the health spending share of the economy – from 17.7 percent in 2015 to 17.9 percent in 2016.” Looking back into CMS historical files, in 1966 healthcare consumed 5.7% of the national GDP. In 1976 it was 8.1%. In 1986: 10.3; 1996: 13.3%; 2006: 15.5%; and last year to 17.9%.

 

CMS reports that “private health insurance spending increased 5.1 percent to $1.1 trillion in 2016, which was slower than the 6.9 percent growth in 2015.” Private insurance comprised 22% of national health expenditures in 1966, 25% in 1976, 29% in 1986, 32% in 1996, and 34% in 2006 as well as 2016.  

 

Regarding Medicare, CMS states “spending grew 3.6 percent to $672.1 billion in 2016, which was slower growth than the previous two years when spending grew 4.8 percent in 2015 and 4.9 percent in 2014.  Medicare comprised 4% of national health expenditures in 1966, 13% in 1976, 16% in 1986, 18% in 1996, 19% in 2006 and 20% in 2016

 

For Medicaid, CMS says “expenditures grew 3.2 percent in 2016, while federal Medicaid expenditures increased 4.4 percent in 2016. The slower overall growth in Medicaid spending was much lower than in the previous two years, when Medicaid spending grew 11.5 percent in 2014 and 9.5 percent in 2015.” Medicaid comprised 3% of national health expenditures in 1966, 10% in 1976, 9% in 1986, 14% in 1996 and 2006, and 17% in 2016.

 

CMS tells us that overall “out-of-pocket spending grew 3.9 percent to $352.5 billion in 2016, faster than the 2.8 percent growth in 2015.  Additionally, 2016 was the fastest rate of growth since 2007 and was higher than the average annual growth of 2.0 percent during 2008-15.”Examining out of pocket expenses as a percent of overall health expenditures, we found the percentage has decreased from to 48% in 1960; 33% in 1970; 22% in 1985; 15% in 2000 and 11% in 2016.

 

CMS reported that “retail prescription drug spending slowed in 2016, increasing 1.3 percent to $328.6 billion. The slower growth in 2016 follows two years of significant growth in 2014 and 2015, 12.4 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively” Looking back at historical files for Rx total spending, percentage of overall healthcare spending and the percentage paid out of pocket for the past six decades, we found:

1966: Total $4.0 Billion | 8.6% of Total Health Expenditures | 90.2% paid out of pocket

1976: Total $8.7 Billion | 5.7% of Total Health Expenditures | 74.7% paid out of pocket

1986: Total $24.3 Billion | 5.1% of Total Health Expenditures | 64.8% paid out of pocket

1996: Total $68.1 Billion | 6.3% of Total Health Expenditures | 35.6% paid out of pocket

2006: Total $224.1 Billion | 10.4% of Total Health Expenditures | 22.9% paid out of pocket

2016: Total $328.6 Billion | 9.8% of Total Health Expenditures | 13.7% paid out of pocket.

 

 

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