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Hospital, doctor prices rise in March


By Melanie Evans
Posted: April 15, 2014 - 12:15 pm ET
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Prices for inpatient hospital care accelerated slightly more rapidly last month than prices for outpatient services, as the overall Consumer Price Index for hospitals increased 0.8%.

Last month's uptick in hospital prices was marginally higher than the 0.6% increase in February, newly released figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. The index, which measures the change in prices for commercial insurers, increased 0.5% in March 2013. For the year that ended last month, the price index for inpatient hospital care increased 5.1% compared with 5.6% the prior year.

Inpatient hospital service prices increased 0.9% last month; outpatient prices climbed 0.6%.

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The Consumer Price Index for physician services inched up by 0.2% after decreasing each of the prior two months by 0.1% and 0.2% in February and January, respectively. Last month's gain was identical to the 0.2% price growth for March 2013. For the year that ended last month, physician service prices increased 1.4% compared with 2.6% the prior year. All figures are seasonally adjusted.

Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans


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