Healthcare spending growth in August dropped below 4% for the first time since 2014 and was just slightly above the all-time low, according to data from the Altarum Institute.
The slow growth was attributed to the Medical Consumer Price Index rate growing at a historical low of 1.8%. That rate indicated a “possible signal of relief for healthcare consumers with substantial out-ofpocket expenditures,” according to the report released last week. The study revealed that healthcare spending fell 3.5% in the second quarter of 2017, compared to slightly more than 5% in the year-ago quarter. Prescription drug costs grew 5.2% in the second quarter while hospital spending rose 1.3%.