The majority of the decline in health care spending growth from 2009 to 2011 was caused by the recession rather than health systems' responses to the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study published in the August issue of Health Affairs.

The study, conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, attributed about 70 percent of the spending slowdown to the recession. The researchers estimated that health spending would have been 1.8 percentage points higher if the economy had not faltered in 2008.

As the economy recovers, health spending is likely to increase at a faster pace, the authors said.