HHS Reports Medicare Per Capita Spending Stagnant in 2012 [01-15-13]

Filed under: Industry Updates — Editor @ 2:54 pm

department_of_health_and_human_servicesOn January 10, HHS released a report showing per capita spending in the Medicare program increased by just 0.4% in FY 2012. The increase comes after a considerably larger per capita growth of 3.6% in FY 2011 and 1.8% in FY 2010.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) will point to the per capita number as proof that tighter provider reimbursement under the ACA is leading hospitals and other providers to reduce their own costs.

Critics of the ACA will point to the FY 2012 percentage increase in overall Medicare spending. According to a Congressional Quarterly article, Obama Administration officials did not respond to requests seeking the 2012 percentage increase in overall Medicare spending. In FY 2011, per capita spending showed a 3.6% growth but a 6.2% increase in total Medicare spending.

The report acknowledged changing demographics and the increased retirements of the U.S. population will add increased strain to Medicare.

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