Healthcare Spending Growth Rate is Slowing Down in the US

Though expenditure previously increased at a high yearly rate, the growth in healthcare spending has slowed down to a great extent in the past decade. This is a new report revealed by The Lancet.  More than any country in the world, the US expends more on healthcare per capita. This report may come as surprising news since a great deal of reforms have been put into place recently to stretch healthcare coverage across the nation which led  to the reduction of the number of people with no medical insurance.  In a comparison made by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) about the spending and policies of the US along with five other high-spending countries, they found out that America’s spending growth rate dropped to 1% in the last 10 years which is almost the same as the average growth rate in other countries.

HealthcareAccording to Luca Lorenzoni, author of the study, the disparity in healthcare spending between the US and the other countries with the same level of income could be due to health sector prices for hospital care and prescription medicines, among others, that are comparatively higher in the US. The gains made in the reduction of healthcare spending can be caused by the price movement, for example, the increased utilization of affordable drugs and the cutback on growth in physician reimbursement rates, the authors concluded.

The OECD is an international group whose aim is to “promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.” According to them, further economic recovery could bring unfavorable effect on the slowing down of health care spending. The progress found in the study is no reason to be confident in this area. They suggest measures including price controls on Medicare and Medicaid should be considered to avoid potential increases in costs caused by an improving economy.