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Home Health Care Costs Rise 6.2%

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The cost of caring for elderly people and people with disabilities at home is continuing to increase faster than the cost of caring for patients in long-term care facilities, according to government analysts.

U.S. residents spend about twice as much on care provided by long-term care (LTC) facilities than on home health care, but the gap continues to narrow.

Total national health expenditures on home health care increased 6.2% in 2010, to $70 billion.

During that same year, total U.S. health care spending increased 3.9%, to $2.6 trillion, and spending on LTC provided by facilities increased just 3.2%, to $143 million.

U.S. residents spent an average of $227 each on home health care and $464 each on facility care.

In 1970, when the government began to keep track of home health care expenses, those expenses amounted to just 5% of the facility care total.

Government researchers reported those findings in the latest National Health Expenditure Accounts report.