Consumer prices for physician services posted their largest one-month spike in more than seven years last month, while hospital prices grew at an average rate in the same period.
Consumers see doc-office prices jump
The consumer price index for physicians offices grew 1.1% last month, according to the latest seasonally adjusted figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI for physicians' offices grew 0.1% in the prior month, and 0.3% in January 2009. The last time physician CPI grew so quickly in a one-month span was in July 2002, when it also shot up by 1.1%. Physician CPI grew by 3.3% for the 12 months ended in January, compared with 2.8% in the year-ago period.
Consumer prices for hospital services climbed 0.5% in January, after rising 0.6% in the prior month. Hospital prices climbed 0.7% in January 2009. For the 12 months ended in January 2010, hospital CPI grew by 7.5%, compared with 5.7% for the year-ago period.
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