Medical care inflation up in 1999

June 26, 2000

Prices for medical care increased by 3.7 percent in 1999, following a 3.4-percent rise the previous year and a 2.8 percent increase in 1997.

Annual change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, medical care and all items, 1990-99
[Chart data—TXT]

Prescription drugs and medical supplies charges rose 6.1 percent in 1999, compared with 4.9 percent in 1998. In recent years, there has been a large increase in demand for prescription drugs, in part due to the increased advertising by pharmaceutical companies directly to consumers.

The hospital services index rose 5.1 percent in 1999 and dental services charges were up 4.6 percent. Physician’s fees increased by just 2.6 percent, about the same as the increase in the all items CPI (2.7 percent).

These data are produced by 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. More information on consumer price changes can be found in "Core consumer prices in 1999: low by historical standards," by Todd Wilson, Monthly Labor Review, April 2000.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Medical care inflation up in 1999 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jun/wk4/art01.htm (visited October 21, 2014).

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