Nursing home spending rises 6% in 2005, report says

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U.S. spending for nursing facilities rose about 6% in 2005 over the previous year. That's slower than overall healthcare spending, which grew 6.9%, its slowest rate of growth since 1999, according to an annual government report published in the January/February issue of Health Affairs. Public dollars paid for almost two-thirds of nursing home care in 2005.

Home healthcare was the fastest-growing healthcare spending category between 2003 and 2005. Spending in that sector in 2005 increased 11.1%. That compares with growth of 12.3% in 2004 and 11.1% in 2003.

A decline in the growth of prescription drug spending contributed to a slowing of overall U.S. healthcare spending. Anticipated lagged effects of the 2001 recession also played a part in the decreased growth. It was the third consecutive year that the healthcare spending growth rate declined, according to report authors.
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