CMS report finds that health care spending slowed in 2016

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Actuary released the National Health Expenditure data for 2016 (available here), including detail on patterns and trends in total and per capita health care spending. Key findings include:

  • National health care spending totaled $3.3 trillion – or $10,348 per person – in 2016;
  • Despite growth slowing to 4.3% from 5.8% in the prior year, health care spending continued to grow faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounted for 17.9% of the economy in 2016;
  • Medicare and Medicaid combined (37%) account for a larger share of national health care spending than private health insurance (34%);
  • Retail prescription drug spending increased 1.3% in 2016, a lower rate as compared to 12.4% in 2014 and 8.9% in 2015; and
  • Physician and clinical services (5.4%) and hospital care (4.7%) grew faster than the health care sector as a whole in 2016.