According to a new national report, health spending grew 4.4 percent in 2008, to $2.3 trillion ($7,681 per person). This represents the slowest rate of growth since CMS officially started tracking expenditures. The findings are part of a report issued by CMS' Office of the Actuary.

The 4.4 percent growth in 2008 was down from 6.0 percent in 2007, as spending slowed for almost all health care goods and services. Health spending as a share of the nation's GDP continued to climb, however, reaching 16.2 percent in 2008, up 0.3 percentage points from 2007.

Some other significant findings in the report:

  • Hospital spending in 2008 grew 4.5 percent to $718.4 billion, compared to 5.9 percent in 2007, the slowest rate of increase since 1998;
  • Physician and clinical services spending increased 5.0 percent in 2008, a deceleration
    from 5.8 percent in 2007;
  • Total health care spending by public programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, grew 6.5
    percent in 2008, the same rate as in 2007;
  • Health care spending by private sources of funds grew only 2.6 percent in 2008 compared to
    5.6 percent in 2007; and
  • Private health insurance premiums grew 3.1 percent in 2008, a deceleration from 4.4
    percent in 2007.

You can read more about the report here and here.