CMS Cites 4% Increase in 2012 U.S. Medical Spending; Anne Martin Comments

healthcare itThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said that U.S. spending on healthcare increased by 3.7 percent to $2.8 trillion in 2012, Reuters reported Monday.

Caroline Humer writes that national health spending has been growing at a slower pace and CMS has linked the slowdown to recession-induced changes in medication prices and care payment policies.

“The relative stability since 2009 primarily reflects the lagged impact of the recent severe economic recession,” Anne Martin, an economist at the CMS’ Office of the Actuary, told reporters.

CMS data showed that medical costs per person reached $8,915 in 2012, compared with $8,658 the previous year.

Consumers’ out-of-pocket spending rose 3.8 percent and the use of hospital services was up 4.9 percent, according to the report.

Reuters reports overall healthcare expenditures in 2012 accounted for 17.2 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

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