Rate of health care spending drops in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Health care spending in Minnesota rose to $36 billion in 2009, but state officials say the rate of growth fell to its lowest level in more than a decade.

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Health says the recession caused the slower rate of growth as some Minnesotans lost coverage or reduced health care visits.

The report analyzes health care spending in 2009 by state public programs, Medicare, private health insurance and includes out-of-pocket expenses. It shows spending grew 3.8 percent from 2008, the slowest growth since 1997.

Minnesota spends less on health care per person than the country as a whole. In 2009, per person spending in Minnesota was about $6,900 compared to nearly $7,600 nationally.