Consumer prices for hospital and related services inched up 0.1 percent in December, the smallest increase this year. The growth slowed from a 0.4 percent increase in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Prices for hospital and related services increased 6.2 percent in 2000, the largest annual jump since a 7.6 percent increase in 1993. Inpatient prices climbed 0.2 percent in December and were 5.6 percent higher than a year ago, the largest yearly increase since the bureau began tracking the category in 1997.
Outpatient prices inched up 0.1 percent in December but were 7.3 percent higher for 2000, the largest increase since a 7.9 percent jump in 1993.
Overall medical care prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in December, 4.2 percent higher than a year ago and the largest annual increase since a 4.9 percent increase in 1994.
The overall Consumer Price Index climbed 3.4 percent in 2000, the largest increase since a 6.1 percent jump in 1990.