By Jennifer Carsen, JD, Senior Legal Editor
Total healthcare spending growth is expected to average 5.8% annually over 2015-2025, according to a report published on July 13 by Health Affairs and written by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT). Projected national health spending growth remains lower than the average over the previous 2 decades before 2008 (nearly 8%).
“The Affordable Care Act [ACA] continues to help keep overall health spending growth at a modest level and at a lower growth rate than the previous two decades. This progress is occurring while also helping more Americans get coverage, often for the first time,” says CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt.
“Per-capita spending and medical inflation also remain at historically very modest levels, demonstrating the importance of continuing to reform our delivery systems. As we look to the future we must continue our efforts that keep people healthy, providing access to affordable, quality care, while spending smarter across all categories of care delivery.”
In 2015, medical price growth was estimated to continue to be very low, helping to restrain overall health spending growth. In addition, the Medicare program is testing various alternative payment approaches, which may provide some relief to long-term spending growth, even as a record number of people age into Medicare. Overall, national health expenditures are estimated to have reached $3.2 trillion in 2015.