Recent slower growth in medical spending may be a long-lasting trend due to structural changes that could save the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars, two studies in the journal Health Affairs found. Changes such as increasing use of generic drugs, more efficient care and a greater share of out-of-pocket costs could lead to $770 billion in savings by 2021 if they curb growth for good. Slower growth from 2009 to 2011 appears to be mostly due to factors that go beyond the economy, researchers said.

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