National Health Spending Growth Stays Below 4% for 6th Straight Month

In October, national health expenditures grew by 3.5 percent compared with October 2011 — the sixth straight month the growth rate has fallen below 4 percent, according to a report from the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending (pdf).

The October NHE growth rate was also 0.2 percent lower from the September 2011 to September 2012 period. Overall health spending was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2.85 trillion, slightly higher than September.

Healthcare prices (pdf) in October 2012 were also 2.1 percent higher than a year ago. They also increased slightly from the sluggish 1.9 percent growth rate recorded in September. Hospital prices, in particular, spiked 2.6 percent this October compared with 2.4 percent in October 2011.

Healthcare employment (pdf) in November 2012 grew by 20,000 jobs, mostly due to a rise in nursing and residential care.

More Articles on Healthcare Costs:

Is Hospital Consolidation Exacerbating Higher Healthcare Prices?

National Health Spending Slows in August

Healthcare Spending Among Insured Climbed 4.6% in 2011

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