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 the previous year. This growth was driven by both price and utilization increases, as noted by Altarum fellow and Senior Researcher George Miller. On the other hand, home care showed the slowest growth rate among major categories of national health spending, with a mere 5.5% increase in September.
According to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Brief, 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).
Despite the fact that GDP continues to grow faster than 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. Nursing homes showed modest employment growth in October, adding 4,400 jobs, while home healthcare added 9,500 jobs in October, slightly above the monthly average over the past year.