In September 2023, nursing home care represented one of the fastest-growing categories of national health spending, with an increase of 9.8% compared to the same month in 2022, according to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Brief. This was due to both rising prices and utilization, as explained by Altarum fellow and Senior Researcher George Miller.
On the other hand, spending on home care showed the slowest growth rate among major categories of national health spending, increasing by just 5.5% in September. Despite a rapid growth in home healthcare prices, this was attributed to a slight decline in utilization of these services.
Year-over-year spending growth among other major healthcare categories were 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 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).
Personal healthcare spending grew at a faster rate than GDP since February 2023 and grew by 7.4%, year over year, in September, according to the brief. Nursing homes showed modest employment growth in October, adding 4,400 jobs while home healthcare added slightly more than the monthly average over the past year with a gain of 9,500 jobs mentioned by Miller.