Health Spending Outpaces Economic Growth
Although health spending in the United States slowed to 6.1 percent in 2007 compared to 6.7 percent in 2006, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), it continues to shadow overall economic growth, which grew 4.8 percent in 2007.
The slower growth in 2007 was attributed mainly to a decline in retail prescription drugs and costs associated with administering Medicare benefits.
Most other health care services grew at about the same rate or faster in 2007 than the previous year; however, clinical services outpaced physician spending growth. Analysts say this is partly due to a legislated reduction in Medicare payments to physicians for imaging services that took effect in 2007, causing a decline in use.
These findings and more can be found in a report by CMS’ Office of the Actuary, released Jan. 6, in the health policy journal Health Affairs.