In September, nursing home care was one of the fastest-growing categories of national health spending, ranking second only to prescription drug spending, according to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Report. This growth can be attributed to a combination of price and utilization increases. However, spending on home care showed the slowest rate of growth among the major categories, increasing by just 5.5% in September. Despite this, home health care prices are rising at a rate that is among the fastest among the major categories.
The annual growth in spending for other major health care categories is as follows: prescription drugs (11.8%), dental care (9.8%), physician and clinical services (8.9%), and hospital care (6.9%). Overall national health spending rose 5.7% year over year, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $4.78 trillion, which accounts for 17.2% of gross domestic product (GDP). While the rate of GDP growth continues to outpace overall health spending, personal spending on health care has grown faster than GDP since February 2023, rising 7.4% year-over-year in September alone.
Nursing homes also posted modest employment growth in October by adding 4,400 jobs while home health care added 9,500 jobs in October, slightly above the monthly average over the past year as noted by Altarum contributor and senior researcher George Miller who made this report possible with his contribution as an Altarum contributor and senior researcher