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Healthcare Spending Trend to Accelerate, Says CMS

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, June 14, 2012

That growth will be driven by the increased demand for healthcare services and prescription drugs as an estimated 30 million people gain access to insurance coverage under provisions of the ACA, explained Sean P. Keehan, a senior economist with the Office of the Actuary, during a press conference to announce the results.

As the ACA becomes more embedded between 2015 and 2021, however, projections call for healthcare spending to grow at a somewhat slower rate?an average rate 6.2% per year. By that time the economy is expected to have rebound and more baby boomers will have shifted to the Medicare rolls.

The report notes that Medicare spending growth will be restrained by the ACA "through slower growth in both FFS and Medicare Advantage payment rates, the sustainable growth rate formula, and the sequestration process."

Keehan said it "remains to be seen" if efforts by insurers to slow healthcare spending through high deductible health plans or narrow provider networks will help slow healthcare spending.

Without the increased utilization fueled by healthcare reform, spending is projected to increase by only 5.3% in 2014.

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