News & Events

  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released an important review of the way the Relative Value Scale Update Committee (RUC) and CMS value physician services for Medicare. The report finds significant flaws in the data and processes used, echoing a recent Expert Voices essay by RUC researcher Miriam Laugesen.

  • NIHCM Foundation is now accepting letters of inquiry for the 2015-2016 funding cycle of our investigator-initiated research grant program. We are making a total of up to $250,000 available to be divided among four to five studies in the areas of health care financing, delivery, management and/or policy.

  • Upcoming Webinar on the Future of Telehealth in America

    Telemedicine is booming, fueled by promises of consumer convenience and better access for the underserved. Nearly half of employers will offer telehealth benefits this year. 

  • The federal government invests heavily in physician residency training—to the tune of $15 billion a year. But is this investment producing a physician workforce that meets our modern health care needs? 

  • With another presidential election on the horizon, the perennial debate over reforming federal entitlement programs has already begun to resurface. Policy prescriptions are bound to vary along the political spectrum, but failing to come to agreement and act will threaten our long-term fiscal health.

  • Hospital consolidation has dramatically increased in recent years, and studies have shown that hospital mergers and acquisitions result in rising prices, less competition and an increase in hospital negotiating power. Are health care “goliaths” increasingly dictating the prices and premiums we pay?

NIHCM

Government Spending for Health Entitlement Programs

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June 2012

The CBO projects that this year one in every five federal dollars spent will go to health entitlement programs, and one-third of that dollar will be borrowed. Within a decade, mandatory federal spending for health programs is expected to rise to 30 percent of all federal spending, with correspondingly dramatic effects on our nation’s financial health. This data brief closely examines the budgetary implications of government spending on health entitlement programs, including:

  • the spending down of the Medicare Part A Trust Fund and the growing reliance of the program on general revenue financing,
  • the imbalance between Medicare contributions and benefits from the perspective of individual beneficiaries,
  • the pressures on federal and state governments due to rapid growth in Medicaid spending, and
  • the impact of various health spending and revenue scenarios on the federal fiscal outlook.

This is the second in a series of NIHCM data briefs on U.S. health care spending.

Chart Images:

Please feel free to use the charts from this brief with attribution to NIHCM Foundation in your slide presentations, blog posts, reports, etc. Click on the images below to download the full-scale .png files.

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