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National Health Expenditure Projections, 2013-2023

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the nation’s spending on health care  – both public and private — is forecast to grow in the years ahead but at a slower pace than in the past. Growth for 2013 is expected to be 3.6% over the previous year, low when compared to an average annual increase of 7.2% during 1990-2008.

However, with health reform’s expanded coverage, better economic growth, and an aging population, health expenditures are expected to increase 6% per year for 2015-2023. That’s an estimated increase for health care that’s 1.1% faster than overall economic growth, and will up health care’s share of GDP from 17.2% in 2012 to 19.3% in 2023.

National health expenditures will total nearly $2.9 trillion in 2013, and by 2023 will approach $5.2 trillion.

Hospital care

For hospital care, annual spending growth is projected to decrease from 4.9% in 2012 to 4.1% for 2013. With increased use of hospital services due to expanded coverage, accelerated growth rates are predicted, reaching a peak of 6.7% in 2020 and then falling to 6.4% by 2023.

Physician & clinical services

The physician and clinical services sector’s will have a likely growth rate of 3.3% in 2013, rising to an annual rate of 5.9% in 2014 and 6.4% by 2023.

Federal health expenditures

Looking at just federal spending on health care, the Congressional Budget Office has downsized its growth projections. Federal health expenditures as a GDP percentage is currently forecast to reach 8% by 2039, instead of the 9.6% estimated in 2010.


Sisko AM and others. National health expenditure projections, 2013-23: faster growth expected with expanded coverage and improving economy. Health Affairs, vol. 33, no. 10, Oct. 2014. Web first at http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2014/08/27/hlthaff.2014.0560

Fleming C. Projected slow growth in 2013 health spending ahead of future increases. Health Affairs blog, Sept. 3, 2014. http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2014/09/03/projected-slow-growth-in-2013-health-spending-ahead-of-future-increases/

National health expenditures – projected. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Sept. 3, 2014. http://cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/NationalHealthAccountsProjected.html

Elmendorf D. Revisions to CBO’s projections of federal health care spending. Congressional Budget Office blog, July 28, 2014. http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45581

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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