Healthcare prices are growing at historically low rates, according to new estimates from the Altarum Institute.
And because of a revision to federal benchmark data, researchers estimate that the portion of the economy consumed by healthcare is less than previously thought. The percentage of the gross domestic product has averaged about 17.5% (rather than 18%) since the end of the recession, they now believe.
Spending on healthcare rose 4.3% from June 2012 to June 2013, about 0.8% faster than the pace of GDP growth.
The institute's monthly briefs on health sector economic indicators suggest that weak growth in the industry is exerting pressure on prices even as economic growth has started to accelerate. Prices for hospitals and physician and clinical services each rose less than 2% over the 12 months through June, and prescription drug prices reported a year-over-year price drop of 0.1%.