Hospitals and health systems have been leaders in controlling costs in the health care sector, with hospital price growth in 2015 at the slowest annual rate since 1998 and Medicare spending growth for hospital services at its lowest level in 17 years, according to a data brief on hospital care costs released today by the AHA. In recent years, health care spending growth has been driven primarily by increased use and intensity of services, as more Americans gain health insurance coverage, an aging population uses more health care, and medical advances bring health benefits that often raise costs, the data show. Other cost challenges include increases in input prices, including prescription drugs, investments for electronic health records and growing regulatory requirements.