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Health Aff (Millwood). 2016 Jan;35(1):132-40. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1109.

Health Care Spending Slowdown From 2000 To 2010 Was Driven By Lower Growth In Cost Per Case, According To A New Data Source.

Author information

  • 1Abe Dunn ( is an economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Department of Commerce, in Washington, D.C.
  • 2Lindsey Rittmueller is an economist in the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • 3Bryn Whitmire is a statistician in the Bureau of Economic Analysis.


In 2015 the Bureau of Economic Analysis released an experimental set of measures referred to as the Health Care Satellite Account, which tracks national health care spending by medical condition. These statistics improve the understanding of the health care sector by blending medical claims data and survey data to present measures of national spending and cost of treatment by condition. This article introduces key aspects of the new account and uses it to study the health spending slowdown that occurred in the period 2000-10. Our analysis of the account reveals that the slowdown was driven by a reduction of growth in cost per case but that spending trends varied greatly across conditions and differentially affected the slowdown. More than half of the overall slowdown was accounted for by a slowdown in spending on circulatory conditions. However, there were more dramatic slowdowns in spending on categories such as endocrine system and musculoskeletal conditions than in spending on other categories, such as cancers.


Cost of Health Care; Health Economics; Health Spending

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