Reasons for permanent slowdowns in healthcare spending growth

May 17, 2013- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Since 2010, the rate of growth in healthcare spending has been the lowest in decades, even slower than the HMO era of the 1990’s. This had been attributed simply to the recession, but fundamental changes to Medicare and private insurance have taken place, as well as changes to costly new technology (e.g. medical imaging, prescription drugs, etc).

Analyzing all of this, David Cutler, PhD, Harvard economist and White House advisor, recently published a paper in Health Affairs. We interviewed him. In Part 1, he gives a general overview. In Part 2, we discuss in more detail bundling, high-deductible insurance, tiered drug formularies, and other specific changes that have been taking place.

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