Health care spending reaches $3.8 trillion

Feb 6, 2014 | Hospital Budgets

The condition of the American health care industry continues to change shape, but spending in 2013 was lower than expected: increasing by $800 billion. Based on the difference between the National Health Care Expenditure and Sustainable Growth Rate, that was the figure Forbes Magazine contributor Dan Munro found.

The slow pace of spending had to do with the fact that the sustainable growth rate went down over $200 million in 2013, but 2014 may not sing a similar tune.

Part of this is due to the fact that the Affordable Care Act will cause an expansion of services and health IT incentives from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services may increase spending. Take into account that the government currently attributes for 40 percent of total health care spending, it is likely that the final spending total will rise, according to Deloitte's report on out-of-pocket and indirect costs.

How will these changes affect hospitals and doctor's offices across the United States? It is likely that for the next decade, practitioners will see a rise in costs. CMS found that private practices increased their spending by 4.6 percent while hospital spending went up 4.9 percent — totaling $1.45 billion altogether. 

While this is lower than CMS' 6 percent annual increase until 2022, accounts receivable services should do whatever they can to ensure that they stay behind the national average.

These projections are too broad and may not accurately reflect on how your practice is actually doing. One way departments can keep costs low is if they have as small of a collection of outstanding bills as possible. Professional Medical Services can help alleviate this burden by serving as a secondary medical accounts receivable department.