Minn. health care spending increases slow

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota has seen a big slowdown in health care spending increases.

The state Department of Health says spending on doctors, drugs and other medical care in Minnesota grew only 2 percent from 2010 to 2011. That caps a three-year period that marked the slowest growth since the state started keeping track in the mid-1990s.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1jV8kuR ) reports the slowdown was so dramatic it leaves Minnesota in a position to pay back $50 million spent on money-saving health care reforms it created in 2008.

Minnesotans, along with their public and private insurers, spent $38.2 billion on health care in 2011 —well below the spending projection of $40.5 billion.

Minnesota Health Commissioner, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, says the report "confirms Minnesota's reputation for leadership and innovation in the health care sector."

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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