Nursing home spending rises 4.3% in 2004

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Spending on skilled nursing care increased by 4.3% to $115 billion in 2004, according to the Bush administration.

That compares to a 7.9% rise in total healthcare spending that year. Spending for the whole sector rose to $1.9 trillion, or an average of $6,280 a person. That represented 16% of the nation's economy. U.S. healthcare spending grew slower in 2004 than the three previous years, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs.

Medicaid accounted for 44% of nursing home spending in 2004. Medicaid spending expanded 3% in 2004. That compares to an increase of 5.3% in 2003.

Also in 2004: Prescription drug spending increased by 8.2% to $188.5 billion. Hospital care spending rose 8.6% to $570.8 billion. And payments to doctors expanded by 9% to $399.9 billion. The increases in hospital care and doctor payments represented the highest recorded since 1991.
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