Consumer Price Index up 8.6%, biggest jump in 40 years

The Consumer Price Index rose 8.6 percent in the last 12 months before seasonal adjustment, representing the largest 12-month increase in 40 years, according to a June 20 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Compared to other industries, healthcare has seen modest increases in price, according to the Keckley Report, a weekly healthcare industry analysis. The bureau of labor statistics found that in the last 12 months, the energy index increased 34.6 percent, and the food index rose 10.1 percent, while medical care rose 4 percent.

Even with the relatively modest rise, healthcare prices across the board have gone up in the last 12 months, and even modest increases can affect utilization, the Keckley Report stated. Insurance premiums have gone up 13.8 percent. 

Price sensitivity, a measurement of how much prices affect consumers' willingness to purchase goods, will increase in all sectors, including healthcare, until inflation is controlled, according to the Keckley Report. Additionally, there will be a heightened tension between payers and providers. Health insurers are able to define what's covered, raise premiums, reduce reimbursement to providers and give big premium increases to groups and individuals.

"The key takeaway from the May BLS CPI report is this: Healthcare prices in the last 12 months across the board have gone up, and the biggest beneficiary are health insurers," the Keckley Report said.

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