Health Spending Trends Up In 2011 Despite Slow Growth In Health Care Prices

July 15, 2011 - ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Health care spending in the first four months of 2011 grew at an annual rate of 4.7 percent, up from 3.9 percent growth in 2010 according to the July Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs released by Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.  Higher spending growth was attributed to a rebound in health care utilization as health care price inflation has actually slowed in recent months.

The complete set of briefs, providing monthly data on health care spending, prices, and employment, can be viewed at

"The uptick in the spending growth rate through April is not large enough to be a major concern," said the director of the Center, Dr. Charles Roehrig. "The low growth in health employment in May and June would, if anything, suggest a leveling off in spending in the next few months.  Any sharper increase in spending in the next several months would, of course, be a cause for renewed concern and warrant a detailed look at the underlying drivers."  
Altarum's Health Sector Economic Indicators briefs offer an innovative and timely analysis of health sector employment, spending and prices.  The three briefs (employment, spending, and prices) are now released simultaneously each month to provide a more integrated analysis of these data.  To view these briefs, visit

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