A recent Gallup and West Health national survey of American patients on the costs of healthcare found that they borrowed an estimated $88 billion in the preceding year to pay for healthcare. One in four had skipped a treatment because of its cost, and almost 50% feared bankruptcy in the face of a health crisis. Nevertheless, 64% of those surveyed were “completely” or “mostly” satisfied with their experience of the healthcare system.

Their responses show that despite significant anxiety about healthcare spending and its effect on the economy, American patients still have confidence that the healthcare system will meet their needs and serve them well.

How much is healthcare spending projected to grow?

Healthcare spending in the United States is projected to increase at an annual average of 5.5% over the next decade. This growth rate will exceed that of the gross domestic product (GDP). For context, a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis details healthcare spending from 1970 to 2017. The data show a 7.3% average annual growth between 1990 and 2007. This slowed to 3.9% during the recession period of 2008-2013 and rose to 4.4% with the Affordable Care Act in 2014. An average annual increase of 5.5% in the next 10 years means that by 2027 healthcare will constitute 19.4% of GDP.

Healthcare enrollment factors

  • S. Census data indicate that by the year 2029, over 20% of the American population will be over the age of 65. A CMS summary projects that Medicare enrollment will result in a spending increase of 7.1% in 2019 and 7.6% between 2020 and 2027.
  • In comparison, Medicaid spending is projected to grow at an annual rate of 4.8% in 2019 and 6.0% from 2020 to 2027.
  • Private insurance spending is projected to slow to 3.3% in 2019 and to grow at a rate of 5.1% from 2020 to 2027.

Growth trends by healthcare sector

An interactive chart of national health expenditure projections summarizes that:

  • Prescription drug spending is projected to accelerate by 4.6% in 2019 and by 6.1% 2020-2027.
  • Hospital care will show a 5.1% increase in 2019 and a 5.7% increase 2020-2027.
  • Physician and clinician service spending will increase by 5.4% in 2019 and is projected to remain the same in 2020-2027.

What does all of this mean for your patients?

Patient-focused revenue cycle management is essential to maintaining robust relationships with those who use your services. Healthcare Claims Management brings nearly 20 years of experience in working with each client to assess, meet and surpass revenue cycle needs. HCM offers guidance in developing payment plans, oversees patient communications via letters and a managed call center, assists your patients in understanding financial assistance options and provides health insurance claim optimization.

Healthcare spending projections are lower today than they were in 2010, and patients believe in the quality of the care they receive. Clear and effective communication throughout the revenue cycle is an extension of both care and caring.