Don't Break Out the Champagne: Continued Slowing of Health Care Spending Growth Unlikely to Last

January/February 2008
Health Affairs , Vol. 27, No. 1
Paul B. Ginsburg

Aaron Catlin and colleagues report a fourth year of slowing of the rate of growth of personal health care spending. But many factors indicate that relief for purchasers and consumers will be short-lived. Research on local health care markets suggests that rapid expansion of provider capacity and incentives to increase volume of care are continuing. Increasing incidence of obesity is a major factor behind rising costs. The influence of the economic cycle on health spending, which has lowered the trend in recent years, is likely to reverse its impact shortly.

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