Prices paid for physician services grow more slowly than overall inflation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 27, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

For the 10th month in a row, the annual inflation rate for physician services grew more slowly than the economy as a whole, according to the monthly consumer price index released Feb. 17 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The cost of physician services went up 0.2% in January, with an annual rate of 2.4%. Inflation in the economy as a whole for that month was 0.2%, with the annual rate at 2.9%. The physician measure reflects total prices paid by patients and insurers to physicians for services.

Medical care costs went up 0.3% for the month and 3.6% during the past year. This was primarily driven by growth in the cost of hospital services, which went up 0.3% in January and 5.3% for the year.

Historically, the prices paid for physician services have grown faster than the rate of inflation. This was no longer true as of April 2011.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn