CMS officials also announced yesterday that national health spending grew 3.6 percent in 2013, the lowest annual increase since the organization began tracking the statistic in 1960. Spending slowed for private health insurance, Medicare, hospitals, physicians and clinical services and out-of-pocket spending by consumers. However, it accelerated for Medicaid and for prescription drugs, according to the report, published online by the journal Health Affairs. Health care spending has grown at historically low rates for the past five years, which is consistent with declines generally seen during economic downturns.
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