Expenditures on nursing home, CCRC care projected to rise 69% over next decade

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Spending on nursing care and continuing care retirement communities is expected to roughly keep pace with total U.S. healthcare spending during the next decade, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Spending on nursing homes and CCRCs is anticipated to increase from about $160 billion in 2014 to about $270 billion in 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary calculated in its latest annual “National Health Expenditures Projections” report.

These figures are roughly in line with those from last year, which projected spending in this sector would reach $264 billion in 2022. The numbers include consumers' out-of-pocket spending, private insurance companies' spending and government spending through programs such as Medicare.

Spending on home healthcare is expected to grow at a faster rate, going from about $86 billion this year to $162 billion in 2023. Annual growth in this sector is projected at 6.4% for 2015. That outpaces the 4.9% anticipated spending growth for both nursing care and healthcare as a whole next year. This pattern is projected for future years as well.

Healthcare expenditures have been constrained by the recession and policies such as sequestration, but a recovering economy and expanding health insurance options are poised to fuel greater spending, the report states. Still, the proliferation of high-deductible plans and other factors are likely to reign in spending, keeping the growth rate more modest for the next decade than it was between 1990 and 2008.

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