Health Costs Growing

Physician's Money Digest, April15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 7

Physicians, your work continues.Health care spending in 2003 accountedfor more than 15% of the nation's economy—an all-time high—according to areport by the Centers for Medicare andMedicaid Services (CMS; www.cms.hhs.gov). Health-related spending is projectedto continue to outpace growth in the restof the economy for the next 10 years,according to the CMS. By 2013, annualspending on health care is expected toreach $3.4 trillion and account for morethan 18% of the gross domestic product.Prescription drug spending also will continueto outpace the rest of health care forthe next 10 years. Drug spending is projectedto grow by about 12.5% annuallyover the next 2 years. While health carespending reached about $1.7 trillion in2003, up 7.8% over the previous year, thepace of the growth was slower than inrecent years. In 2002, health care spendinggrew 9.3%.