Spending Growth Rate for Physician Services Slows
By Emma Freer

Although spending on physician and clinical services increased 2.7% year-over-year to $884.9 billion in 2022, the spending growth rate fell, due in part to a slowdown in the use of such services and in physician prices. In comparison, spending on physicians and clinical services grew 5.3% in 2021. 

This is one of the key findings of a recent fact sheet on U.S. health care spending by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  

The Texas Medical Association has long sounded the alarm about – and championed legislative reform to address – inadequate Medicare and Medicaid physician pay, which threaten practice viability and patient access to care.  

For instance, Medicare physician payments decreased by 26% between 2001 and 2023 when adjusted for inflation, while payments to hospitals and other health care facilities generally kept pace, according to the American Medical Association.  

Among the other key findings: 

  • U.S. health care spending grew 4.1% to $4.5 trillion in 2022, outpacing the 3.2% growth rate in 2021 but lagging behind the 10.6% growth rate in 2020, when federal COVID-19 relief funding was at its apex.  
  • The share of Americans with health insurance hit a historic high of 92% in 2022, fueled by increased enrollment in private health plans and in Medicaid.  
  • Spending by private payers, Medicare, and patients (out of pocket) was largely in sync, growing by between 5.9% and 6.6% in 2022.  

Medicaid spending increased 9.6% to $805.7 billion in 2022, marking the third consecutive year of growth above 9% and reflecting the enduring impact of continuous Medicaid enrollment enabled by federal COVID-19 relief funding. States are now in the process of unwinding continuous Medicaid eligibility as federal funding phases out.  

TMA equips you with the information you need to help stop the latest Medicare physician pay cut. Get involved in this crucial advocacy effort by downloading the toolkit with ready-made social media graphics and posts, sample letters to the editor, a sample op-ed, and an Action Alert to send directly to legislators.  

Last Updated On

January 09, 2024

Originally Published On

January 09, 2024

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Medicaid | Medicare | Reimbursement

Emma Freer

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1383

Emma Freer is a reporter for Texas Medicine. She previously worked in local news, covering city politics, economic development, and public health. A native Clevelander, she graduated from Columbia Journalism School and the University of St. Andrews.

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