How Does Medical Inflation Compare to Inflation in the Rest of the Economy?

Note: This analysis was updated on July 26, 2023, to include new data.

Inflation in medical care prices and overall health spending typically outpaces inflation in the rest of the economy. However, prices for many consumer goods and services have increased faster than usual in recent years, with overall inflation reaching a four-decade high in mid-2022.

While medical care prices increased by 0.1% between June 2022 and June 2023, the prices of all goods and services increased by 3.0%, according to an updated analysis. Prices for outpatient care and hospital and related services rose faster (5.7% and 4.2%, respectively) than for prescription drugs and physicians’ services (3.1% and 0.5%, respectively).

KFF uses Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, including the consumer price index (CPI) and producer price index (PPI) to analyze prices for medical care compared to other goods and services. The analysis can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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