Health Industry Forum

January 21, 2015

The Recent Deceleration in Health Spending: Is it for Real?

Federal economists reported recently that U.S. health spending grew only 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest rate ever recorded since the government began tracking spending in 1960. This caps off a four-year period where health spending has grown at an average rate below 4 percent. There is continued disagreement about the causes of the slowdown and whether it will continue into the future. Historically, health spending has always accelerated after periods of slow growth. However, some believe that the Affordable Care Act and other forces are causing fundamental changes in the health care system that will lead to continued modest growth rates over the longer term.

Joining the Forum for this discussion is Peter Orszag, PhD, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citigroup who previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama and Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Dr. Orszag will discuss the causes of the recent deceleration in spending, the status of current efforts to move health care payment away from fee-for-service, and the future outlook for spending and health care system transformation. This session will conclude with a discussion with participants in the Forum about the implications of Dr. Orszag’s forecasts on key sectors of the health care economy.