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Prices for outpatient hospital services rise 0.5%


By Bob Herman
Posted: July 22, 2014 - 1:00 pm ET
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Prices that private health insurers paid for all hospital services increased 0.2% in June, mostly spurred by the outpatient side, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, showed prices for inpatient hospital services last month grew 0.1%, while prices for outpatient hospital services rose 0.5%. The figures are an exact inverse from May.

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Year over year, the CPI for hospital services has increased 5.9%. Inpatient prices from June 2013 to June 2014 (6.7%) have risen more than outpatient prices (5.3%) during the same time period.

While hospital prices continue to rise more rapidly than overall inflation, the same cannot be said for general medical and physician services. Physician service prices dropped 0.3% in June, and they have only increased 1.1% year over year. Prices insurers paid for dental services climbed 0.2% in June, while eye-care prices fell 0.1%. Overall prices for medical care remained flat in June.

Follow Bob Herman on Twitter: @MHbherman


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