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CCRC, Nursing Home Health Care Spend Increases 5.6% in 2022

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Health care spending in the U.S. grew by 4.1% in 2022 and reached $4.5 trillion, with continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) and nursing homes reporting slightly lower health expenditures over the same time period, according to a study published Wednesday by Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

In 2022, price growth of personal health care prices for continuing care retirement communities and nursing homes was relatively low at 3%.

National health expenditures (NHE) for CCRCs and nursing homes increased from $181.1 billion in 2021 to $191.3 billion in 2022, the study found. After decreasing by 7.8% between 2020 and 2021, NHE spending rose 5.6% in 2022 for CCRCs and nursing homes. 

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Home health care expenses increased 2.5% in 2022, according to the report.

While the outlook for the life plan community sector was bleak entering 2023, midway through the year that demand was strong in the near-term and spurred by demographic trends in the long term, Fitch Ratings Senior Director Margaret Johnson told SHN in August. Heading into 2023, some of the country’s largest CCRCs said they would rely on their scale to “survive and thrive.”

That strong demand comes as earlier this year, a report by Northwestern University and the Mather Institute, the research wing of Mather Communities, found marked benefits tied to living within a life plan community over the course of a five-year study.

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In the first quarter of the year, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) released data in partnership with NORC at the University of Chicago that found residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) were “significantly safer” than a comparable population of older adults living in non-congregate housing, following the introduction of vaccines.

With regard to the overall health spending figures released Wednesday, the $4.5 trillion breaks down to approximately $13,493 per person nationwide. While growth in Medicaid spending and private insurance occurred, that was offset by declines in federal funding stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health care spending growth was more rapid in 2022 than the 3.2% growth seen in 2021, but far lower than the 10.6% growth reported in 2020.

Also, the number of uninsured individuals decreased for the third consecutive year, from 28.5 million in 2021 to 26.6 million in 2022. Alternatively, those with insurance grew to a record high of 92% and Medicaid enrollment increased by 6.1 million people in 2022, the report noted.

To view a copy of the report, visit the Health Affairs website.

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