Another rise in medical care inflation
April 16, 2003
The medical care price index increased 5.0 percent in 2002, the highest calendar-year increase since 1993.
For the fifth year in a row, the rate of medical care inflation was higher than in the preceding year. Medical care prices paid by consumers rose 4.7 percent in 2001.
Larger price increases for hospital services and dental services in 2002 were partially offset by smaller price increases for prescription drugs, internal and respiratory over-the-counter drugs, physician services, and eyeglasses and eye care.
Medical care services fees rose 5.6 percent, versus 4.8 percent in 2001. The acceleration in this index in 2002 was principally due to a bigger increase in the hospital and related services index, which rose 9.8 percent, the highest calendar-year increase since 1990. Outpatient hospital services prices rose 12.7 percent, following a 6.8-percent increase in 2001. Inpatient hospital services prices rose 9.4 percent in 2002, after rising 6.9 percent during the prior year.
The index for prescription drugs and medical supplies increased 4.5 percent last year, compared with 6.0 percent in 2001. Most of the slowdown in the growth of this index was due to patent losses on many name-brand drugs in the CPI sample.
These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. Annual percent changes are December-to-December changes. Details on the calculation of the medical care CPI are in Measuring Price Change for Medical Care in the CPI. For additional information on consumer price changes in 2002, see "Consumer prices up slightly more in 2002, led by energy and hospital services," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, March 2003.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Another rise in medical care inflation on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/apr/wk2/art03.htm (visited February 16, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Labor Market Activity of Blacks in the United States
Examines data on the labor market and related topics for the Black or African American population.
- Workers’ Access to and Use of Leave from Their Jobs in 2017–18
Examines the reasons for which workers can take leave, their use of leave, and the reasons they did not take available leave even when they needed to.
- A look at employment and wages in U.S. establishments with foreign ownership
Examines employment and wages in U.S. establishments that have at least one foreign owner with at least 10 percent ownership.
- 25 years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data
Examines detailed historical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries.