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Analysis: Americans make slow return to doctor's offices

A noticeable number of U.S. consumers had skipped medical check-ups and procedures since the recession, as some lost insurance coverage when getting laid off work, while others have seen insurance premiums jump just as they try to save money.

But there are small signs suggesting that cycle has started to turn, healthcare executives told the Reuters Health Summit in New York this week.

Covidien Plc, a maker of a wide range of surgical instruments, medical devices and pain medication, reported better-than-expected earnings this week and cited an increase in medical utilization in the United States.

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