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Trustees report improved outlook for Medicare

Trustees report improved outlook for Medicare

BALTIMORE - The Medicare Trust Fund will remain solvent until 2030—four years longer than last year's projections.

The Medicare Trustees released a report this week that credits, in part, cost controls implemented as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the improved outlook.

“Thanks to the ACA, we are taking important steps to improve the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, while improving Medicare's long-term solvency,” said Marilyn Tavenner, administrator for CMS, in a release. “Specifically, we have made major progress in improving patient safety, decreasing hospital readmissions, and establishing new payment models, such as accountable care organizations, aimed at reducing costs and improving quality.”

The improved outlook is also attributed to lower-than-expected spending in 2013, and lower projected utilization in the types of health care needed for Medicare beneficiaries.

During the past four years, per capita Medicare spending growth has averaged 0.8% annually, much more slowly than the average 3.1% annual increase in per capita gross domestic product and national health expenditures over the same period.

In 2013, Medicare covered 52.3 million beneficiaries: 43.5 million age 65 and older and 8.8 million with disabilities.

Total expenditures in 2013 were $582.9 billion and total income was $575.8 billion.


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