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Medical service inflation outpacing rest of economy

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 26, 2010

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The Consumer Price Index went up slightly, 0.1%, in March, primarily because of growth in the prices of fresh fruits and vegetables, although increases in the costs of medical care also contributed, according to a report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on April 14.

The cost of medical care went up 0.3% in March. This was driven primarily by growth in the expense of hospital services, which went up 0.9%. The cost of professional services, including those provided by physicians, grew 0.1%.

Annual numbers reflected similar trends. From March 2009 until March 2010, overall inflation was 2.3%. The cost of medical care grew 3.7%, with professional services going up by 2.8%. The price of hospital services increased by 7.6%.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/04/26/bibf0426.htm.

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