Nursing home care was once again one of the fastest-growing categories of national health spending in September, placing second only to spending on prescription drugs. According to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Brief, nursing home care spending increased by 9.8% since September 2022 due to increases in both prices and utilization.
On the other hand, spending on home care showed the slowest growth rate among major categories of national health spending, increasing just 5.5% in September. Despite the fact that home healthcare prices have been growing at a rate that is among the fastest among the major categories, utilization of these services declined slightly.
Year-over-year spending growth among other major healthcare categories according to the report are as follows: prescription drugs at 11.8%, dental care at 9.8%, physician and clinical services at 8.9%, and hospital care at 6.9%. National health spending overall has increased by 5.7%, year over year, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $4.78 trillion, accounting for 17.2% of gross domestic product (GDP).
While GDP growth rate continues to outpace total health spending, personal healthcare spending has grown at a rate faster than GDP since February 2023 and grew by 7.4%, year over year, in September according to the brief. Additionally, nursing homes showed modest employment growth in October by adding 4,400 jobs while home healthcare added 9,500 jobs slightly above the monthly average over the past year as mentioned by Altarum fellow and Senior Researcher George Miller