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Healthcare Spending Slowed in 2009–2010 — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 30, 2012

Healthcare Spending Slowed in 2009–2010

Healthcare spending has slowed in recent years, and not all of the reduction can be directly attributed to the recession, according to a front-page story in the New York Times. Part of the reduction may be due to changing behaviors of consumers and healthcare providers.

Total national healthcare spending grew less than 4% in both 2009 and 2010. That's the slowest annual rate in over 50 years.

Among the trends cited by the Times as contributing to the decline:

  • The rise in high-deductible insurance plans may make patients reconsider seeking medical care.

  • Fewer new, expensive drugs are coming to market, and there is pressure to use generics.

  • The push toward accountable care means that healthcare providers are paid for the quality of care as opposed to the quantity.

Experts cautioned that it was not yet clear whether this spending trend would continue.

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