Cost of medical care rises faster than inflation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 25, 2010

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Inflation remained low in September, but prices paid for medical goods and services grew "sharply," according to a report on the consumer price index released Oct. 15 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (link).

In September, inflation for the economy as a whole was 0.1%, but the inflation index for medical care services went up 0.8%. Medical care commodities grew in price by 0.3%. Professional services in the health care setting, including those provided by physicians, increased in price by 0.4%, and the cost of hospital care went up 1.5%.

In the past year, general inflation was 1.1% for the previous 12 months, but 3.4% for medical care. Health care-related commodities increased in price by 2.6%, and prices paid for professional services went up 2.9%. The cost of hospital care grew 7.3%.

The bureau will release October figures on Nov. 17.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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