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Home health costs may gain on nursing home costs

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U.S. long-term care (LTC) costs are growing faster than the gross domestic product, but slower than the overall national health expenditures.

Andrea Sisko and other Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) analysts have included predictions about home health care and facility care costs in their latest national health expenditures paper.

The analysts are predicting that total health expenditures will increase 5.6 percent this year, to $3.1 trillion, or about $9,600 per person, and that GDP will increase 3.3 percent, to about $54,000 per person. Home health care costs could increase 5.7 percent, to $86 billion, and the cost of care in nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities could rise 3.7 percent, the analysts say.

The analysts believe home health care costs rose 4.8 percent in 2013, and that facility care costs rose 3.2 percent.

The forecasts in the paper extend to 2023. The analysts are predicting that spending on home health care will rise to $162 billion by 2023, and that spending on facility care will rise to $271 billion.