The Producer Price Index for acute-care hospitals was flat for a second straight month, preliminary federal data show.
The unchanged hospital prices last month continue a trend of flat prices that began last November and has continued unchecked with the exception of February, when prices climbed 0.3%. A year ago in April, hospital prices declined 0.8%.
The Producer Price Index, produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
, tracks changes in reimbursement
paid to hospitals. For the year that ended in April, the index for acute-care hospitals increased 1.9%, compared with 2% the prior year.
Figures for the most-recent four months are preliminary and may be revised. Physician
office prices dropped 0.1% in April after an increase in March of 0.4%, the initial figures show. In April 2013, the physician office prices declined 0.4%. For the year that ended in April, physician office prices increased 0.7%, compared with no change the prior year. Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans