Prices paid for physician services decrease for second month running

Posted March 26, 2012

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The amount of money paid for physician services by patients and insurers went down 0.5% in February and grew by only 1.3% during the past year, according to the monthly report of the consumer price index released March 16 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The prices paid for physician services decreased 0.1% in January. However, they increased 2.4% since February 2011.

Inflation in the price of physician services has been out of line with inflation in the economy as a whole for nearly a year primarily because of significant increases in the cost of energy and food. There also has been great downward pressure on physician fees by third-party payers.

Overall inflation was 0.4% in February and 2.9% for the past year. The cost of energy went up 3.2% in February and 7% for the year. Food prices did not increase in February but grew by 3.9% for the year.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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