The health care sector added 226,000 jobs over the past six months, the largest increase in at least 25 years, and now employs more than 15 million, according to the latest Economic Indicators from Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Hospitals have been “a big part of the acceleration,” adding more than 80,000 jobs over the past nine months, the center said. Hospital prices “rose a scant 0.4%” in March, while prices for physician and clinical services fell 0.6%, the steepest drop in nearly 20 years, the center said. “As we have noted for many months in this space, consolidation has not translated to an increasing rate of hospital price growth, at least not at the national level,” the center said. National health spending in March was 6.8% higher than a year ago, but “there are reasons to expect growth to drop back below 6% as 2015 progresses,” the center said, citing anticipated smaller growth in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and a leveling off in spending on specialty drugs for hepatitis C.