Physician's Money Digest, July15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 13

The rise in health care costs isoutpacing the overall inflation rate,and that trend is likely to continue,according to a forecast from theCenters for Medicare & MedicaidServices (CMS; the next 10 years, spending onhealth care will go up by an averageannual rate of 7.3%, the CMS predicts.By 2012, health care spendingwill reach $3.1 trillion and represent17.7% of the nation's gross domesticproduct, up from the current 14.1%.Hospitals, which have acquired somebargaining clout vis-à-vis managedcare programs, are likely to get agood portion of the increased expenditures.Spending on doctor servicesis expected to grow by an averageannual rate of 6.8% over the next 10years, while the increase in spendingon prescription drugs is expected toaverage 11.1%.