Analysis: Slow Growth in Health Spending Largely Due to Recession, Weak Economy

The recession and weak recovery are by far the biggest culprits behind recent record-slow growth in health spending, according to a new analysis. The results suggest that any relief enjoyed by employers, households or state and federal budgets as the downturn dampened health spending could evaporate as the economy rebounds.

The analysis, by the Altarum Institute and published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, also suggest that it's premature to credit health policy and marketplace changes that have been widely cited as potential mechanisms to create a lasting slowdown in health spending that has historically grown faster than the economy, economists said.

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Source: Modern Healthcare

“It's too early to tell whether the slowdown is permanent,” said Jonathan Skinner, an economist and health policy expert at Dartmouth College. Skinner is an adviser to the Altarum Institute. “Certainly, the results of this survey could suggest more caution in interpreting the slowdown as permanent.”