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Hospital prices unchanged in March, but physician office prices rise


By Melanie Evans
Posted: April 11, 2014 - 11:45 am ET
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The Producer Price Index for acute-care hospitals was flat in March, preliminary federal data show. That's in line with the same month last year, when acute-care hospital prices showed no change, but slower than the preliminary 0.3% increase reported for February, new Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. For the year that ended in March, the hospital price index increased 1.1%, the preliminary figures show, reflecting a slowdown compared with 3.1% the prior year, and an average of 2.1% for the 12-month windows ending in March each of the last 10 years.

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The Producer Price Index for physician offices increased 0.4% last month, the preliminary figures show, compared with 0.1% during the same month the prior year and faster than the preliminary -0.1% reported for February.

The physician-office Producer Price Index for the year that ended in March was also slower than average, at 0.3% compared with 0.5% the prior year and the average of 1.7% for the 12-month periods ending in March since 2004.

Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans


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