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Health care price growth lowest since December 1997

March 13, 2013

Health care prices in January were 1.5% higher than a year ago, two-tenths below the December level and the lowest reading since December 1997, according to the latest economic indicators from Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending. Hospital prices for Medicare and Medicaid patients grew by 1.7% and negative 0.8%, respectively. National health expenditures in January grew at an annual rate of 4.1%, a level that would signify the fifth consecutive year of moderate spending growth, Altarum said. Health care employment rose by 32,000 in February, well above the 24-month average of 24,000, with hospitals adding 8,900 jobs.