The 0.6% increase in the cost of medical care during October before seasonal adjustments represents a 4.8% increase from October of 2001. Contributing to the rise was the high increase in the hospital and related services, up 0.9% in October and 9.3% since October 2001.
The largest increases were seen in:
- Outpatient hospital service: up 1.9% in October; an increase of 11.9% since October 2001
- Inpatient hospital services: up 0.5% in October; up 8.9% since October 2001
Professional services saw price increases of 0.6% in October, a rise of 3.1% since October 2001. Included in this increase were physician services, up 0.6% in October, a rise of 2.9% since October 2001. Additional increases were seen in eye care and dental service prices, up 1.3% and 0.3%, respectively.
The medical care commodities index, a measure of prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and medical supplies increased a modest 0.3% for the month, but is up 3.3% from October 2001 levels.
Components of the care commodities index reported mixed results in October:
- Prescription drugs and medical supplies rose 0.4%; up 4.7% since October 2001
- Nonprescription drugs and medial supplies declined 0.3%; down 0.2 % since October 2001
Overall, the non-seasonally adjusted October CPI climbed 0.2%, up 2.0% from the same period last year.