|« Providers Slowly Adapting To E-Prescriptions||Court Decision Could Give Health Exchanges Headaches »|
As this chart from The New York Times shows, health care spending has slowed dramatically over the past ten years. So what’s responsible for this trend?
Certainly, the recession has played a major role, as many people have reduced the frequency in which they seek care. But as the Times notes, some of the slowdown seems to be attributable to changing behavior by consumers and providers of health care – a hopeful indication that the lower rates of growth will continue as the economy improves.
It’s also noteworthy that the slowdown commenced prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. It suggests that some of the reduced growth can be credited to earlier efforts in the private sector to reduce spending, such as consumer-driven health plans and a greater emphasis on generics over brand name drugs.
“The tectonic plates might be beginning to shift,” said Karen Davis, the president of the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research group in New York. “It’s hard to believe everything that’s been tried over the last decade to slow spending wouldn’t be making a difference.”