July 8, 2024

US healthcare spending growth expected to outpace overall economic growth

Editor's Note

Expected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.6%, US healthcare spending will outpace GDP growth—projected at 4.3%--and rise to $7.7 trillion by 2032, according to a June 28 report in ASC focus. The $7.7 trillion figure amounts to 19.7% of GDP.

The report is sourced from projections for National Health Expenditures (NHE) from 2023 to 2032 released by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary. Other takeaways include:

  • Healthcare spending totaled $4.46 trillion in 2022, with $3.2 trillion covered by insurers and $471 billion paid out-of-pocket, marking a 4.1% increase from 2021.
  • Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) spending on ambulatory surgical center (ASC) services was $6.1 billion in 2022, about 0.65% of the overall $944 billion Medicare spending.
  • Overall Medicare spending is projected to reach $1.94 trillion by 2032.
  • Medicaid spending, $805 billion in 2022, is expected to increase to $1.3 trillion by 2032.
  • Hospital care spending growth slowed to 2.2% in 2022 but is expected to accelerate, reaching a 10.1% increase in 2023 and averaging 5.6% growth from 2027 to 2033.
  • Physician services spending, which slowed during the pandemic, is projected to rebound, averaging 5.6% growth from 2025 to 2031.

ASCA—which publishes ASC Focus—advocates for increased use of ASCs to reduce healthcare costs. The report cites an analysis showing ASCs saved Medicare $28.7 billion from 2011 to 2018 and could save $73.4 billion from 2019 to 2028. In 2022, ASCs saved Medicare $5.3 billion, with $1.9 billion from ophthalmology services alone.  

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