The growth in US healthcare spending since the economic recession of 2008, has slowed to the lowest levels since World War II . According to new data provided by PwC Health Research Institute in a recent Washington Post article, “2015 will see a modest increase in the rate of spending growth. The so-called medical cost trend is expected to increase from a projected 6.5 percent in 2014 to 6.8 percent in 2015.” The projections cite a variety of reasons for the expected growth, but industry experts believe the growing economy, widespread adoption of information technology, continued growth of specialized drugs, and the emerging trend of physicians working directly for hospitals will continue to be the main drivers of cost growth.
PwC’s report also outlines several factors that could continue to lower the growth in healthcare spending/costs. “PwC says there is a greater focus on efficiency within the health-care system; the growth in high-deductible plans has created better shoppers, and the expansion of reward/payment models that incentivize physicians to keep spending down.” As a physician in today’s competitive health care industry, it is increasingly important to keep a close eye on spending growth moving forward. With certain factors causing spending to increase, and others pushing costs down, practice managers would be wise to keep these items in the front of their mind. In order to prepare your practice for continued growth in the future, you need to know the direction the market is heading.