How does medical inflation compare to inflation in the rest of the economy?

Medical care prices and overall health spending typically outpace growth in the rest of the economy. However, in recent months, prices for many consumer goods and services have increased faster than usual, with overall inflation at a 4-decade high.

This analysis 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.It finds that in October 2022 overall prices grew by 7.7% from the previous year, while prices for medical care increased by 5.0%. This is unusual, as health prices historically outpace prices in the rest of the economy.  The relatively high rate of inflation seen in the rest of the economy may eventually translate to higher prices for medical care, potentially leading to higher health spending and steeper premium increases in the coming years..

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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