U.S. Health Spending Slowed in 2013

the Renal and Urology News take:

U.S. health spending grew by a modest 3.6% in 2013, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS.) This was the lowest annual increase since 1960. Overall, about $9,200 was spent per patient.

Spending for physician and clinical services also slowed mainly because prices held steady, inching upward by less than 0.1%.

Between 2012 and 2013, health care spending growth slowed by 0.5%. The CMS attributed the difference to slower growth in private health insurance, Medicare, and investment in medical structures and equipment spending. However, faster growth in Medicaid spending partially offset the gains.

Overall, the health slice of the U.S. economic pie has remained unchanged in recent years at 17.4%.

One area with a notable growth in spending was retail prescription drugs; spending on the medications grew by 2.5% in 2013, compared with 0.5% in 2012. The CMS cited price increases for brand-name and specialty drugs, greater expenditures on new medicines, and increased medication usage.

Health spending
Health spending

WASHINGTON -- Overall health spending increased by 3.6% in 2013, the lowest annual rate of increase since 1960, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Total health expenditures in the U.S. were $2.9 trillion last year, or about $9,200 per person, the agency reported Wednesday. The figures were also published online in Health Affairs.

Spending growth for physician and clinical services was also down, dropping from an increase of 4.5% in 2012 to 3.8% growth in 2013. "Slower price growth in 2013 was the main cause of the slowdown [in this sector], as prices grew less than 0.1%," CMS said in a press release.

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