Growth in medical costs tops inflation
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 1, 2010
The amount of money patients paid for medical care increased more quickly than did the overall inflation rate, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued Jan. 15.
The Consumer Price Index advanced 2.7% in 2009, primarily driven by increases in the cost of automobiles and gasoline.
The cost of medical care went up 3.4%. Related commodities, such as drugs and equipment, increased 3.3%. Professional services went up 2.5%, but hospital costs rose 7.1%.
Meanwhile, average weekly earnings dipped 1.6%, according to another BLS report issued Jan. 15. The wages of those working in education and health services went down 1.2%.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/02/01/bibf0201.htm.