fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

Category Archives: spending-slowdown

Positive Signs In 2014 National Health Expenditure Data

December 03, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: FAH News, General, Spending Slowdown

Recent headlines announcing a surge in health spending in 2014 and the end of the slowdown missed the mark and failed to see several encouraging signs in CMS’ annual report. First, it’s important to note that CMS’ actuary had earlier projected a 5.6 percent rate of growth for 2014, yet the actual number came in lower at 5.3 percent.

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New Study: Growing Health Insurance Deductibles Putting Greater Burden on Consumers

September 25, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Spending Slowdown

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released its annual employer health benefits survey, which highlights an ongoing trend of significant deductible increases that are growing faster than consumer wages and inflation. In a Wall Street Journal blog post, Kaiser Family Foundation President & CEO Drew Altman explains that this year’s survey marks, quote, “a (remarkable) 10-year run of moderate increases, averaging 5%. But the slowdown in health-care cost growth has been all but invisible to average consumers because their out-of-pocket costs have been rising at a time when their wages have been relatively flat…. over the past five years deductibles have risen almost seven times faster than wages and almost three times faster than premiums*.”

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New CMS Projections on Health Care Spending: What the Numbers Really Mean for Consumers

July 29, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Spending Slowdown

Yesterday the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their annual health care spending projections, covering the time period 2014-2024. The data shows health care spending growth has increased to 5.5% for 2014, which is a modest increase from the national spending slowdown trend that has yielded historically low health care spending growth for several consecutive years. And while many are quick to declare the end of the spending slowdown or ratchet up concerns, it is imperative that we take this latest data into perspective.

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CMS’s Hospital Charge Data Release Remains Irrelevant And Misleading

June 02, 2015 | FAH Hospital Policy Blog Team

Category: Medicare, Spending Slowdown

Earlier this week, CMS released its annual update of Medicare hospital charges data. This update by CMS virtually is the same type of charges data dump it released last year, and the year before that. In releasing the hospital charges data, CMS asserts that “data transparency facilitates a vibrant health data ecosystem, promotes innovation, and leads to better informed and more engaged health care consumers.”

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