Home health spending outpaces hospital growth in 2017
The overall monthly national healthcare spending rate modestly increased 4.3% from August 2016 to August 2017, with a notable increase in home health care spending, according to a brief from Altarum’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending.
This increase in overall spending was generally consistent with the 4.1% gross domestic product (GDP) increase reported during this period. However, hospital spending was reported as having the smallest increase at just 2.3% from August 2016 to August 2017. Home health spending increased the most at 6.5% in a 12-month period, outpacing the GDP.
The brief examined national healthcare spending in terms of personal healthcare, administration and net cost of health insurance expenditures, public health activity, research, and structures and equipment. Findings attributed 85% of total health spending to personal healthcare goods and services, including hospital and home health care expenditures. Hospital spending was estimated at $1.11 trillion in August 2017, which accounted for 32% of total healthcare spending. Nursing home care and home health care combined spending reached $272 billion in August 2017, accounting for 8% of total spending. So, while home health spending exceeded the GDP as of August 2017, the costs still did not meet that of hospitals when combined with nursing home care.