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Medical News & Perspectives
February 25, 2009

Growth in Health Care Spending Slows, But Still Outpaces Rate of Inflation

JAMA. 2009;301(8):815-816. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.85

The rate of growth in health care spending has been declining in the past few years, but it still remains higher than overall inflation. The result: added cost pressures on private and public payers and patients.

The latest data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), released January 5 and published in Health Affairs, show that in 2007, total health care spending grew 6.1% to $2.2 trillion, or $7421 per person (Hartman M et al. Health Aff [Millwood]. 2009;28[1]:246-261). The growth rate was the lowest since 1998 but still outpaced the 2.8% inflation rate. The 2007 spending growth rate continued a recent decline, from 8.2% in 2004 to 6.8% in 2005 and 6.7% in 2006.