Cost of medical care increasing at a rate similar to inflation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 4, 2010

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The amount paid for medical care went up in November 2009, but did so at a pace comparable with the growth in the Consumer Price Index, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics statement released Dec. 16, 2009.

Inflation was 0.4%, mostly due to jumps in prices for electricity, gasoline, fuel oil and natural gas.

Medical care went up 0.3%, with the cost of hospital services escalating by 0.8%. Professional services, including those provided by physicians, went up 0.2%.

On an annualized basis, however, medical inflation was slightly lower than the overall rate.

The annual inflation rate was 4.2% for the economy as a whole, but 3.2% for medical care. The price paid for professional services went up 2.6%, and the cost of hospital services went up 6.5%.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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