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The Boston Globe

Nation

Growth of health care costs slows as national law takes effect

Discouraging readmissions appears to help

WASHINGTON — Provisions in the Affordable Care Act that penalize hospitals for excessive readmissions and encourage employer wellness programs are slowing the growth of medical costs.

Health care costs for commercial insurers and employers are expected to rise about 4.5 percent next year, a percentage point less than projected for 2013, after accounting for changes in benefits, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported Tuesday.

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