Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Growth in health spending was curbed by recession and will rebound, study says

A new study attributes a slowdown in U.S. health care spending to the recent recession and predicts more rapid growth as the economy strengthens.

The report issued Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation seeks to shed light on the reasons behind the recent drop-off. The analysis found that economic factors related to the recession accounted for 77 percent of the reduced growth in national health care spending, which totaled an estimated $2.8 trillion in 2012.

The remaining 23 percent resulted from changes in the health care system, such as higher patient deductibles and other changes made by insurers and medical providers, the study said.

U.S. health care spending grew 3.9 percent a year in 2009-2011, according to government data, the lowest growth rate since the government began tracking it in 1960, and down significantly from annual growth averaging 8.8 percent in 2001-2003.

There has been widespread debate among policymakers and health care experts over whether the recent slow growth in spending marked a temporary reprieve or a longer-lasting change.

"The problem of health costs is not solved, and we need to be realistic that health-spending increases will return to more typical levels as the economy improves," said Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Menlo Park, Calif.

This analysis predicts the annual growth rate in health spending could return to more than 7 percent by 2019 as economic growth picks up steam.

The study noted that the federal Affordable Care Act is likely to produce a one-time increase in health spending starting next year as millions more people gain private insurance or qualify for Medicaid.

The federal overhaul is also designed to generate savings through smaller Medicare reimbursements to medical providers and insurers, and through other cost-cutting provisions.

Growth in health spending was curbed by recession and will rebound, study says 04/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas licensing board asks Sen. Jack Latvala for $500,000 loan

    Local Government

    The troubled Pinellas County agency that regulates contractors wants Sen. Jack Latvala to help it get a $500,000 lifeline from the state to stay afloat.

    State Sen . Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, is being asked to help the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board get $500,000 from the state so it can stay open beyond February.  [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. FHP: 55-year-old pedestrian struck, killed by car in Largo

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 55-year-old St. Petersburg man died late Saturday after he walked into the path of a car on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Study offers warning for Florida strawberry farmers from global warming

    Agriculture

    LAKELAND — Florida strawberry growers already have experienced a dress rehearsal for the impacts of climate change during the past two seasons.

     Carl Grooms shows off some of his strawberries at Fancy Farms near Plant City Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.  Grooms, President of Fancy Farms. [JAMES BORCHUCK  |  Times]
  4. Two Interstate 275 tractor-trailer crashes cause delays in Tampa

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Two tractor-trailers driving in opposite directions on Interstate 275 crashed Sunday within a mile of each other, causing lane closures on both sides for much of the morning.

    Two tractor-trailers going opposite directions on Interstate 275 in Tampa crashed Sunday morning, closing lanes on each side, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  5. Read Anthony Scaramucci's old tweets. You'll understand why he deleted them

    National

    New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci hasn't always shared the political views of the administration he now serves.

    Anthony Scaramucci, incoming White House communications director, takes questions as he speaks in the briefing room at the White House on Friday. [ Washington Post photo by by Jabin Botsford]