Spending for physician and clinical services in 2007 grew 6.5% to $478.8 billion, the same rate of growth from the previous year, the CMS reported in its annual healthcare spending trends report (See this issues By the Numbers section). Healthcare spending grew 6.1% in 2007, representing a slight decrease in growth from 6.7% in 2006 and the slowest rate of growth in nearly a decade. Overall, healthcare spending reached $2.2 trillion, or $7,421 per person. The CMS attributed slower growth in retail prescription drug spending and spending associated with administering Medicare health benefits, as the main reasons for the lowest rate in healthcare spending growth since 1998. At the same time, health spending continued to consume a larger share of our gross domestic product, said the studys lead author Micah Hartman, a statistician with the CMS, in a written statement. Health spending growth overall outpaced the economy, consuming a larger portion of the gross domestic product in 2007, reaching 16.2%, up from 16% in 2006. Hospital spending in 2007 increased 7.3% to $696.5 billion, marking the third straight year of relatively stable spending growth in the sector, the study found. Strong growth in Medicaid spending for hospital care accounted for much of the increase in hospital spending. Hospital price growth in the meantime slowed to 3.5% in 2007 from 4.4% in 2006. Medicare spending grew 7.2% in 2007 to $431.2 billion, following an 18.5% increase in 2006 that was partially driven by the implementation of Medicare Part D. Meanwhile, spending for the Medicaid program grew 6.4% in 2007, reaching $329.4 billion. Private health insurance premiums rose 6% to $775 billion in 2007, the same as in 2006.
Spending on doc services up 6.5% again in 2007
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