US health-care spending topped $10,739 per person in 2017: report


National spending on health care reached $3.5 trillion in 2017, or about $10,739 per person, according to new data released Thursday by the Trump administration.

Overall, health spending grew at a rate of 3.9 percent last year, after increasing by 4.8 percent in 2016 and 5.8 percent in 2015.

{mosads}It’s the slowest increase in spending since 2013, before most parts of the Affordable Care Act took effect, including the expansion of Medicaid to more low-income adults.

The slowdown in growth primarily affected hospitals, physician and clinical services and prescription drugs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said, as people used fewer goods and services.

Before the expansion of insurance through ObamaCare, health spending was at “historically low rates,” said Anne Martin, an economist in the Office of the Actuary at CMS.

“In 2017, health care spending growth returned to these lower rates and the health spending share of GDP stabilized for the first time since 2013.”

Spending on hospital care reached $1.1 trillion in 2017, representing 33 percent of overall health-care spending.

Spending on physician and clinical services increased 4.2 percent to $694.3 million in 2017, while spending on prescription drugs reached $333.4 billion, representing 10 percent of overall health spending.

Spending in the private health insurance market topped $1.2 trillion in 2017, making up 34 percent of all health-care spending.

Medicare spending grew 4.2 percent to $705.9 billion in 2017, comparable to the rate of growth in 2016, while Medicaid spending grew to $581.9 billion.

Spending on out-of-pocket costs not covered by insurance, like copayments and deductibles, totaled $365 billion in 2017.


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