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Doc-office PPI up 0.3% in 2013; slowest rise in 11 years


By Melanie Evans
Posted: January 15, 2014 - 2:15 pm ET
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A federal measure of healthcare inflation found physician office prices increased last year at the slowest rate in more than a decade.

The Producer Price Index, which measures changes to reimbursement paid to physician offices, hospitals and other healthcare providers, captured a 0.3% change in physician office prices in 2013.

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That's compared with an increase of 1.2% in 2012 and it's slower than every year since 2002, when the index declined by 0.1%. On average, physician office prices have increased 1.8% per year since the data collection began in 1997.

Physician office prices declined by 0.4% in the month of December after remaining flat the prior month. That's compared with a decline of 0.1% in December 2012.

Acute-care hospital prices as measured by the Producer Price Index grew 2% last year, compared with 2.6% in 2012. The average annual increase to acute-care hospital prices since 2005 is 3%.

For the month of December, acute-care hospital prices increased 0.5%, following November's increase of 0.4%.

Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans


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