5 things to know about healthcare & physician services spending

A Health Affairs study shows spending on physician services increased last year, partially due to the Affordable Care Act's affect on the industry, as reported in Medscape.

Here are five key notes:

1. There was $3 trillion spent on healthcare in 2014, accounting for 17.5 percent of the gross domestic product. This is up 17.3 percent from 2013.

2. The public and private spending on healthcare last year was 5.3 percent, ending a five-year run of low growth.

3. Individuals, private insurers, CMS and other third-party payers spent 4.6 percent more on physician services last year than they did in 2013. Previous years' growth was 1.7 percent year-over-year.

4. Physicians are seeing more insured patients and primary care physicians benefit from higher CMS fees the ACA authorized. But the Medicaid raise expires in 2015.

5. Expenditures on prescription drugs grew to $297.7 billion last year, a 12.2 percent increase. The four hepatitis C virus drugs accounted for one-third of the spending; in 2013 the spending on prescription drugs grew just 2.4 percent.

More articles on physicians:
10 new outpatient surgery centers in November
CMS bumps up payments for incomplete colonoscopies: 3 key notes
Value vs. productivity: Which influences physician pay more?

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