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Inpatient prices rise faster than outpatient prices


By Melanie Evans
Posted: June 17, 2014 - 11:15 am ET
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U.S. consumer prices for inpatient hospital care grew faster than outpatient hospital prices last month as overall hospital prices increased 0.3%, the latest seasonally adjusted federal data show.

The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tracks the changes in prices paid by commercial insurance companies. Last month's 0.3% increase for hospital prices was slower than the 0.5% price bump in April and the 0.8% price growth in March. It was faster, however, than the 0.1% in May 2013.

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Inpatient hospital prices increased 0.5% last month while outpatient hospital prices grew 0.2%.

For the year that ended last month, overall hospital prices grew 6.3% compared with 3.8% the prior year.

Physician service prices increased 0.4% last month, a small uptick from 0.3% in April and 0.2% in March and a break from May 2013, when physician prices were flat. During the year that ended last month, physician service prices increased 1.7% compared with 2.4% the prior year.

Follow Melanie Evans on Twitter: @MHmevans


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