Heathcare prices remain sluggish

Healthcare price inflation (HCPI) in August was 1 percent higher than last year and growing at a historically low rate, according to the October Altarum's Health Sector Economic Indicator report. The analysis indicates the 12-month moving average, at 1.5 percent in August 2013, is the lowest level in the company's data, and likely all-time. The HCPI remains low due to lower hospital price growth–at 1.5 percent year-over-year, its lowest rate since 1.3 percent growth in December 1998. Other key findings: Physicians and clinical services prices rose 0.3 percent and prescription drugs rose 0.2 percent, three-tenths above the all-time low set last month. Report (.pdf)