HEALTH $ RECORD

Physician's Money Digest, April15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 7

As bad as the financial picture isfor today's physicians, they can takesome consolation in the fact thattheir services will continue to berequired. According to a report bythe National Health Statistics Group(www.cms.hhs.gov), US spending onhealth care in 2001 (the latest yearfor which complete totals are available)reached an all-time record of$1.4 trillion and grew at the fastestrate in 10 years. Spending on healthcare was up 8.7% from the previousyear, a rate of increase not observedsince 1990 when similarly increasingcosts led to the rise of managed care.Health care spending accounted for14.1% of the US gross domesticproduct and Americans spent anaverage of $5035 per person onhealth care. Given the aging of thebaby boom generation and the factthat average US life expectancy isnow age 77, work for doctors isn'tlikely to disappear.