In September 2023, nursing home care represented one of the fastest-growing categories of national health spending, with a 9.8% increase compared to the same month in 2022. This growth was due to both rising prices and utilization, as informed 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 5.5% increase in September. Despite the fact that home healthcare prices have been growing at a fast pace, this growth was attributed to a slight decline in utilization of home healthcare services.
According to Altarum’s monthly Health Sector Economics Brief, prescription drugs were still the category that represented the highest amount of spending in September 2023, with an 11.8% year-over-year increase. Other major categories included dental care with a 9.8% year-over-year increase, physician and clinical services with an 8.9% year-over-year increase, and hospital care with a 6.9% year-over-year increase. Overall, national health spending 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).
The GDP growth rate continued to outpace the growth in total health spending overall but 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 . In October 2023, nursing homes showed modest employment growth by adding 4,400 jobs while home healthcare added slightly above average monthly jobs for past years with an addition of