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.
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.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Medical care inflation up in 1999 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/jun/wk4/art01.htm (visited October 18, 2021).