Physician services inflation rate stays low

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 25, 2012

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Growth in the prices paid by patients and insurers for a single physician service started to show some signs of outpacing overall inflation — even though the physician services inflation has barely changed.

The annual inflation rate for physician services has been below that of the general economy for 14 months, but the monthly rate has been higher for the past three months, according to the report on the Consumer Price Index issued June 14 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Prices for physician services went up 0.2% in May compared with 1.6% for the same period in 2011. General economic inflation declined 0.3% in May, primarily because of cuts to energy prices, and escalated 1.7% for the past year.

Inflation in prices paid for physician services was 0.3% in April and 1.4% for the prior 12 months. The general inflation rate was zero for that month and 2.3% for the preceding year.

The growth in the prices paid for physician services was 0.2% in March and 1.3% for the past year. The overall inflation rate was 0.3%, and the annual rate was 2.6%.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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