During the past months, a number of important articles have appeared in the healthcare literature on the subject of the recent slowing of health-spending growth in the U.S. In an article in January’s Health Affairs, economists at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services suggest that the recession, even though officially ending in mid-2009, was the major factor in “extraordinarily slow” spending growth of 4.7 percent in 2008 and 3.9 percent in 2010, down from 7.5 percent in 2007 and double-digit growth in the 1980s and 1990s. Also citing recessionary causes, a report from the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform specifies declines in the rate of overall spending growth for eight consecutive years, from 9.2 percent in 2002 to 4.0 percent in 2009.
As I’ve already mentioned, “too soon to tell” is the correct response. Still, we should be raising our probability that the health care cost curve is (somewhat) being bent.
There is much more at the link. You can read Suderman and Lowrey here.