The U.S. Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) said in its annual data book on health care spending that enrollment in Medicare is expected to rise steadily throughout most of the 21st Century to more than 109 million by 2090. Enrollment in 2060, when most of the baby boom generation will have expired or reached 100 years of age, will amount to roughly 90 million. Total Medicare spending in 2010 was $517 billion, a figure that spiked to $787 billion in 2019, although the share of hospital inpatient spending dropped from 26% in 2010 to 19% in 2019. Over that same time frame, the share of spending in managed care plans rose from 22% to 34%, while hospital outpatient spending rose by two percentage points to 7%. Spending on physician fees dropped four percentage points to 9%, while durable medical equipment accounted for only 1% of spending in 2019, half the share it consumed in 2010. MedPAC said the increase in hospital outpatient services was driven largely by hospital acquisition of physician practices. Total health care spending reached 17.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018, while Medicare expenditures are expected to account for 6.5% of GDP by 2075. Total Medicare spending over the next decade is expected to grow at an average annual clip of 7%, substantially more quickly than GDP growth, which is expected to average 4% over that same time. Medicare spending is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2022, and the commission said general revenues from the Treasury have already eclipsed Medicare payroll taxes, Medicare insurance premiums and other sources as the primary source of Medicare funding.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced a two-day meeting of the agency’s advisory committee for medical isotopes, which will include a discussion of the FDA’s process for reviewing applications for drugs and devices. Both days’ proceedings will be webcast.
The U.K. Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency updated its list of devices that have been granted exceptional use authorization for the COVID-19 pandemic, including the repurposed orientgene test kit by Fortress Diagnostics, of Belfast, Ireland. Also new to the list for July is the Xenosure biological patch and the Albograft vascular graft, both by Lemaitre Vascular Inc., of Burlington, Mass.