Cost of Mass. Health Care Rises at Slow Speed

The cost of health care in Massachusetts continues to rise, but at a pace significantly below expectations.

State officials said Wednesday that total health care expenditures in 2017 grew at 1.6 percent in Massachusetts to about $8,900 per resident or $61.1 billion statewide.

For the second consecutive year, the growth rate fell below the state's official benchmark of 3.6 percent.

Massachusetts Health Policy Commission Chairman Dr. Stuart Altman said that 12 years after leading the country in expanding access to health care, Massachusetts is now leading the nation in slowing the growth of health care costs.

Altman said there were still areas of concern, pointing to out-of-pocket spending for consumers and premiums for small employers, both of which rose faster than projections.

Spending for hospital outpatient and prescription drugs also outpaced projections.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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