Nursing home care in September once again represented one of the fastest-growing categories of national health spending, second only to prescription drug spending, according to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Brief , which was released on Friday.
Nursing home care spending has increased 9.8% since September 2022, “a result of rising prices and utilization,” Altarum partner and Senior Researcher George Miller told the McKnight’s Daily Business.
Home care spending, on the other hand, showed the slowest growth rate among the major categories of national health spending, increasing only 5.5% in September, he said.
“This is despite the fact that home health care prices are growing at a rate that is one of the fastest among the major categories, increasing by 4.6%, year over year, in October,” said said Miller. “The relatively low increase in spending is due to a slight decrease in the use of home health care services.”
Year-over-year spending growth among other major health care categories, according to the report: prescription drugs (11.8%), dental care (9.8%), physician and clinical services (8.9%) and hospital care (6.9%).
Health spending in the country as a whole increased by 5.7%, annually, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $4.78 trillion, accounting for 17.2% of the gross domestic product.
“While the rate of GDP growth continues to outpace growth in total health spending, personal health care spending (expenditure on health care goods and services, excluding in categories such as net insurance costs and public health spending) grew at a rate faster than GDP since February 2023 and grew by 7.4%, year on year, in September,” according to the brief.
“Nursing homes showed moderate employment growth in October, adding 4,400 jobs. Our recently released blog describes nursing home staffing trends through the COVID-19 pandemic and compares the new staffing levels to the federal government’s newly proposed staffing requirements. for nursing homes,” Miller said. “At the same time, home health care added 9,500 jobs in October, well below last year’s monthly average.”