CMS’s Office of the Actuary has published their National Health Statistics for 2016 (they always run about a year behind.) A few interesting statistics in there about HME:
- The annual growth rate across all HME categories will average about 6% a year for the next several years.
- Unit growth and demand will result in total HME spend five years from now (2022) being nearly 30% greater than the HME spend in 2017.
- The increase in HME spend in 2018 over 2017 – in terms of total dollars spent – will be a greater increase than in any year in the past decade.
- Looking at 5 years ago vs 5 years from now, to gain perspective, shows Medicaid as the payer source that will have grown the most, by a fair margin. Private health insurance grows proportionately as well. Medicare shrinks in proportion. Said another way, Medicaid and private health insurance become more important to HME providers than they have been in the past.
Yes, those serving the HME space face many daunting challenges, there isn’t much argument over that. But we do so in a market that is growing in dollars and growing much faster than almost every other segment of our economy. Shifting sands are requiring us to change, to do things differently, to re-prioritize and to focus. But opportunities abound.