Economy largely to blame for slowed healthcare spending

A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation attributed much of the recent slowdown in healthcare spending to the Great Recession, and projects it to increase as the economy continues to gain steam, the Los Angeles Times reported. Healthcare spending grew at a 3.9 percent annual clip between 2009 and 2011, the slowest growth since official tracking of the statistic began in 1960. Typical annual growth is closer to 9 percent per year. According to the study, 77 percent of the recent spending deceleration is attributable to prevailing economic conditions. "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 officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Article