August’s Producer Price Index was flat, month on month, and dropped 0.8 percent, year on year, continuing the trend we saw last month. Producer prices for health goods and services are rising faster than other producer prices.
What is interesting is the difference in the rate of inflation for hospital inpatient versus outpatient services. Outpatient prices are declining, while inpatient prices are rising, resulting in quite a gap.
I’d like to believe the outpatient prices are under pressure from ambulatory clinics. As for inpatient prices – well, this data gibes well with the Quarterly Services Survey, which showed an increase in hospital profits.
Read the entire entry at NCPA's Health Policy Blog.