released the 2017 National Health Expenditures, and overall health spending saw
growth, however, less than 2016. National health spending increased by 3.9%
reaching $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person and accounted for 17.9% of Gross
Domestic Product (GDP). Below are some of the highlights from the report:
Health Spending by Type of Service or
Care- which totals 33% of health spending, increased 4.6 % to $1.1
trillion in 2017. This was slower than the 5.6 percent growth in 2016, which
was a result of a decline in the use and intensity of services. Hospital care
expenditures slowed among the major payers—private health insurance, Medicare,
and Clinical Services-which totals 20% increased 4.2 % to $694.3
billion in 2017. Although both service areas have sluggish growth, clinical
services continued to outpace the growth in physician services in 2017.
Prescription Drugs- which is 10% increased .4% to $333.4 billion; however,
the growth was the lowest since 2012. The key drivers for the lack of growth included
a shift to lower-cost generic drugs and slower growth in the sales volume of
some high-cost drugs.
Health, Residential, and Personal Care Services- which totals 5%, grew
5.6 % in 2017 to $183.1 billion after increasing 5.3% in 2016. The increase was
driven by growth in residential mental health and substance abuse facilities
and ambulance services.
Care Facilities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities- which is
5%, grew only 2% to $166.3 billion compared to 3.1% growth in 2016. The slower
growth in 2017 is attributed to slower spending growth in both out-of-pocket
and private health insurance spending.
Services -which is 4%, increased by 3.2% in 2017 to $129.1 billion,
which was down from 5.2 percent growth in 2016.
Health Care - which totals 3%, increased 4.3 percent in 2017, the same
rate as 2016, to $97.0 billion. Slower growth in Medicaid spending and private
health insurance spending was offset by faster Medicare spending and out of
Professional Services- which is 3%, reached $96.6 billion in 2017 and
increased 4.6 percent, a slower rate of growth compared to the increase of 5.1
percent in 2016. This category includes establishments of independent health
practitioners (except physicians and dentists) that primarily provide services
such as physical therapy, optometry, podiatry, or chiropractic medicine.
Non-durable Medical Products- which is 2%, includes nondurable medical
products such as over-the-counter medicines, medical instruments, and surgical
dressings, grew 2.2 percent (slower than the rate of growth in 2016 of 4.1
percent) to $64.1 billion in 2017.
Medical Equipment-which totals 2%, includes items such as contact
lenses, eyeglasses, and hearing aids, reached $54.4 billion in 2017 and
increased 6.8 percent, which was an increase from 4.9 percent growth in 2016.
The growth was driven by an acceleration in Medicare spending as well as
continued growth in private health insurance and out of pocket spending.
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