Aug. 1—Prices for personal expenditures on healthcare goods and services rose slightly more than 1 percent in the year ending May 2013, representing the slowest rate of growth in nearly 50 years, according to a recent White House blog post. Hospital and nursing home services (which represent 42 percent of total healthcare expenditures) and outpatient services (which account for 34 percent of total expenditures) are the major contributors to the slowdown.

In the blog post, Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, cites other data showing declining healthcare cost growth. For example, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the annual growth rate of private sector workers’ health insurance costs has slowed over the past six years, particularly for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. Krueger also references Congressional Budget Office reports that show slower growth in Medicare and Medicaid spending in recent years.

The White House suggests that structural changes are driving some of the recent cost growth slowdown, and anticipates the trend will continue.

Publication Date: Thursday, August 01, 2013