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Home health care spending increases may slow

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Long-term care (LTC) costs will likely go up over the next decade, but not quite as much as predicted last year.

Analysts at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have included an adjustment in LTC spending forecasts in their new National Health Expenditures (NHE) forecast paper.

See also: CMS actuaries: Health premiums might be 6.4% higher

The last hard numbers the actuaries have are from 2013. The other numbers are estimates or forecasts.

The CMS actuaries now estimate that spending on nursing home care increased 2.8 percent between 2013 and 2014, to $160 billion, and that the cost of home health care increased 2.6 percent, to $82 billion.

That would be down from an actual 2.4 percent increase in nursing home spending in 2013, and an actual 3.4 percent increase in home health care spending.

The actuaries say that nursing home spending might increase 4.3 percent this year, and that home health spending might increase 5.6 percent this year.

Those increase figures are lower than the increase forecasts the actuaries published a year ago.

A year ago, the actuaries were predicting that nursing home spending would rise 3.7 percent in 2014 and 4.9 percent in 2015, and that home health care spending would rise 5.7 percent in 2014, and 6.4 percent in 2015.

If the new forecasts are correct, Americans may end up spending only about $86.5 billion on home health care this year, or about $5 billion less the actuaries predicted last year.

See also: CMS Actuaries Find Slower Health Spending Growth