There are several new trends in healthcare spending to follow today.
1. 1. National health spending grew 3.9 percent in July 2013 when compared with July 2012, according to a report from Altarum Institute.
2. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expansion has the potential to shift program enrollee demographics that would lead to lower-than-expected spending because the number of white male beneficiaries in better health would increase, according to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine.
3. Physician office visit payment varies widely across the country, and physicians receiving highest reimbursements from insurance companies receive twice as much as the lowest-paid physicians, according to a Health Affairs study. The findings indicated policies reducing variation could be beneficial.
4. A new study from the Center for Studying Health System Change found that highest-price hospitals within a market often have charges up to 60 percent higher than the lowest-price competitor, and highest-priced hospitals often wield an immense amount of influence in their area.
5. Trauma care is the second-largest driver of healthcare spending in the United States — at around $163 billion annually — but a new Health Affairs study shows that preventing over-triage in patients with low-risk injuries could cut trauma care spending by $136.7 million per year. Cost per patient is higher at major trauma centers than at other trauma centers and non-trauma hospitals.
6. Medicare currently reimburses ambulatory surgery centers less than hospitals and outpatient hospital departments for the same procedures, and a research team from the University of California-Berkeley recently reported that ASCs saved Medicare $7.5 billion from 2008 to 2011, and projected potential savings of $57.6B over the next decade if current trends remain the same.
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Ambulatory Surgery Centers Projected to Save Medicare $57.6B Over Next 10 Years
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