While health price inflation remains flat compared to a year ago, total health spending jumped 5.2 percent led by higher hospital spending, according to sector research.

Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending released its November "Health Sector Economic Indicators" brief Thursday. The study found health price inflation is up only 2.1 percent in September compared to the previous year, continuing an 8-month trend of near 2 percent inflation.

"The data show two potentially conflicting trends," said center director, Dr. Charles Roehrig in a statement. "Health spending for September, and the third quarter as a whole, appeared to accelerate, led by a 7.1 percent growth rate for hospitals. Yet health care prices, uncharacteristically, continued for a fourth month to trail economy-wide inflation."

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