Hospital prices down year-over-year for first time in 23 years

Hospital prices fell 0.1 percent in January compared to that month the year prior, marking the first month of decline recorded since at least 1992, according to the latest economic indicators from Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

In contrast, prescription drugs experienced 5.6 percent price growth in January, followed by nursing home care and dental care, which both saw 2.2 percent price growth.

In January, the Health Care Price Index was up 1.2 percent from the same period of 2014, which puts it in "striking distance" of the decade-low of 1 percent growth registered in August 2013, the center said.

Altarum's estimates for the monthly HCPI, a price index for personal healthcare spending within National Expenditures, are essentially monthly versions of the annual index developed by the CMS National Health Statistics Group.

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