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.
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