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6 trends in spending on physician services, up 5.4% in 2016

Spending growth on physician services has slowed, although it remains strong, according to a report in Health Affairs.


Here are six things to know:

1. Millions of people gained health insurance under the ACA, which sparked 4.6 percent growth in spending on physician services in 2014 and 5.9 percent in 2015. In 2016, physician spending grew 5.4 percent.

2. Last year Americans spent $66.5 billion on physician and clinical services, making it the second largest category of healthcare spending. Hospitals held the top spot in healthcare spending in 2016.

3. Spending on physician services accounted for 20 percent of all healthcare spending last year.

4. CMS slowed spending on physician services, partially due to low Medicaid growth in 2016 and less spending on Medicare Advantage.

5. Physician services spending grew slower than clinical services spending with strong spending on freestanding ASCs as the driver.

6. In 2016, private health insurers increased spending on physician and clinical services 5.8 percent.

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