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The U.S. speech therapy market size was valued at USD 4.35 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 4.59 billion in 2023 to USD 6.93 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period.
Speech-language pathology is a field of rehabilitation services provided by speech therapists or Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) treating speech impairment, language, communication, or swallowing problems among individuals. The therapy includes intervention services, focusing on improving a patient’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language.
Thus, the increasing prevalence of speech disorders among children and adults in the country is increasing the demand for speech-language pathology services among the U.S. population. This, coupled with increasing initiatives by the government to promote speech and therapy care among the affected population in the country, is expected to surge the demand and adoption of the therapy during the forecast period. In addition, the presence of favorable reimbursement policies in the U.S. and the rising shift toward teletherapy are expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities to market players.
Reduction in the Number of Referrals to SLPs Temporarily Impacted Market Growth
The outbreak of the pandemic had a minimal impact on the market. A decline in the number of referrals to SLPs was observed in the country during the pandemic, owing to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government. In addition, limited infrastructure for virtual speech-language pathology reduced the adoption rate of these therapies among the U.S. population.
However, the U.S. government, on the other hand, reallocated speech-language pathologists to provide essential rehabilitation services to patients recovering from critical coronavirus cases. This factor compensated for the decline in inpatient visits in the U.S. from Q1 to Q4 2020.
The above factor, coupled with reimbursement policies by the U.S. government for virtual services, augmented the demand for speech therapy services in 2020.
Furthermore, during the post-pandemic situation, a significant shift was observed among the U.S. population for these services. The introduction of virtual programs, special education, and awareness campaigns by major companies increased the adoption rate and is anticipated to fuel the market during the study period.
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Growing Patient Inclination toward Tele Consultancy for Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy can be provided in various ways, including real-time visits via audio, video, both, and by avoiding actual contact between patients and therapists. Several medical associations have observed that teletherapy is an effective model for patients with articulation disorders, dysarthria, aphasia, and others.
For instance, in 2020, in response to the pandemic, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) published an official statement on the use of telepractice. It offered speech-language pathologists an opportunity to deliver care by using this new model during the pandemic.
Moreover, to improve user experience, market players are already taking the initiative and citing the opportunity to fulfill patients’ demands through teletherapy for deafness and other communication disorders. For instance, in January 2023, Great Speech, a virtual speech therapy company, partnered with Health Network One, a specialty healthcare network management serving Medicaid and others, to offer specialized services to more than five million members in the country.
According to an article published by iTechArt in November 2021, it was reported that 60% of the surveyed speech-language pathologists preferred telehealth for its convenience of use and easy accessibility throughout rural, urban, and suburban locations. In addition, 68% of the surveyed speech therapists ensured that they would adopt telehealth services in the near future. Thus, the rising adoption of telehealth also contributes to market growth.
Rising Prevalence of Speech and Language Disorders in the U.S. to Fuel Market Growth
The increasing number of people in the U.S. suffering from speech and language disorders, such as articulation, aphasia, stuttering, and others, generates a huge demand for effective treatment therapy.
In addition, it is estimated by various studies that among all patients suffering from neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's disease and stroke, a higher percentage of patients suffer from speech and voice disorders that can affect the quality of life of a patient if not treated properly.
Such a rising prevalence of speech disorders, along with the presence of favorable reimbursement policies for speech-language pathology services in the U.S., are improving the demand for these therapies in the country. These factors are expected to subsequently propel the U.S. speech therapy market growth during the forecast period.
High Cost of Treatment and Shortage of Speech Therapists May Hamper Market Growth
The increasing prevalence of speech disorders, coupled with the rising early diagnosis rate and demand for effective treatment, are major factors anticipated to propel the need for this therapy in the U.S. However, the cost-to-benefit ratio of the therapy is not justified. For instance, according to an article published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, it was observed that speech disorders, such as apraxia and stuttering, could easily take around 6 to 18 months of treatment. However, the condition cannot be fully cured. According to CostHelper, Inc., the therapy can cost around USD 250 to USD 700 for an evaluation and USD 100 to USD 250 per hour for ongoing sessions for patients who are not covered under any health insurance. This huge cost structure is not affordable for the majority of the U.S. population and hence limits the adoption rate of the speech therapy service.
In addition, a shortage in the number of speech-language pathologists has been observed across the country. According to the Chairman of Texas Woman's University, in Texas, there is a need for speech therapists to assess and treat more than 200,000 public school students between the ages of 3 and 21 every year. Thus, the high cost of these services and the shortage of speech-language pathologists result in the unavailability of such therapy in rural areas of the U.S. and subsequently restrict the speech therapy sectors’ growth.
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Rising Prevalence of Key Speech Disorders Led to Segmental Dominance
Based on type, the market is segmented into speech disorders, language disorders, neurological conditions, swallowing disorders, and others. The speech disorders segment held a dominant share of the speech therapy market in 2022, which is attributed to the increasing prevalence of a number of speech disorders, including aphasia, apraxia, articulation disorders, and others. This results in the rising patient population in the U.S. and leads to the growing demand for available treatment options.
The neurological conditions segment is expected to register a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The segment growth can be credited to the increasing number of patients seeking effective therapy for neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and dysarthria.
On the other hand, the language disorders, swallowing disorders, and others segments are anticipated to grow at a comparatively moderate CAGR during the forecast period due to the increasing number of rehabilitation service-providing companies in the U.S. Their expansion can also be ascribed to the increasing patient population diagnosed with aphasia and traumatic brain injury undergoing rehabilitation therapy.
Pediatrics Segment to Dominate Due to Rising Cases of Speech Disorders
Based on age, the market is categorized into pediatrics and adults. Among them, the pediatrics segment held a dominating share in 2022. The dominance is due to the increasing incidence of speech-language and swallowing disorders among children and the surging initiatives by the government to provide care across all schools and education facilities in the U.S. This is subsequently increasing the number of diagnosed children requiring this therapy and boosting the demand and adoption of the service.
However, the adults segment is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. The segment growth can be credited to the rising prevalence of speech and voice disorders owing to increasing cases of stroke, degenerative neurological and motor disorders, and others among the adult population in the country.
Inorganic Growth Strategies and the Expansion of Healthcare Settings by Key Players Led to Market Growth
The market is characterized by the presence of tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 players. Expansion of healthcare settings across the U.S. by key companies is one of the primary factors attributed to the increasing U.S. speech therapy market share of the tier 1 companies such as Kindred Healthcare, LLC, Genesis Rehab Services, and BenchMark Physical Therapy Institute.
In addition, a few market players, including Reliant Rehabilitation and Humanus Corporation, are focusing on adopting growth strategies, such as partnerships and mergers, to expand their customer base in the U.S.
Other prominent players operating in the U.S. market include Smart Speech Therapy, Therapy Solutions Inc., and Rehabilitation Associates, Inc.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Speech Therapy Market
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The market research report provides a granular overview of the industry by performing corporate analysis. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies and type and age segments. Besides, it offers insights into market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report analyzes several factors that have contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.
CAGR of 6.1% from 2023-2030
Value (USD Billion)
By Type and Age
Fortune Business Insights says that the market stood at USD 4.35 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 6.93 billion by 2030.
In 2022, the market value stood at USD 4.35 billion.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period (2023-2030).
Based on type, the speech disorders segment is set to dominate the market.
The increasing prevalence of speech and language disorders and the rising initiatives adopted by the government to promote speech therapy are the key factors driving the market growth.
Kindred Healthcare, LLC, Genesis Rehab Services, and BenchMark Physical Therapy Institute are the top players in the market.
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