Healthcare Financial Management Association, August 23, 2010

Consumer prices for hospital services dropped 0.5 percent in July, compared with a 0.7 percent increase a year ago and a 0.6 percent increase in June. The July decline is the first decline since August 2005, when the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for hospital services fell 0.2 percent. The one-month drop in July is the largest since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began publishing comparable data in 1997. The figures are seasonally adjusted. For the 12 months ended in July, the hospital CPI rose 6.9 percent, compared with 7.1 percent a year ago.

The CPI for physician services rose 0.4 percent in July, up from 0.2 percent a year ago and down from a 0.5 percent increase in June. For the 12 months ended in July, the physician services CPI rose 3.3 percent, compared with 3.4 percent a year ago.

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