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The U.S. speech therapy market size was USD 3.94 billion in 2020. The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with speech therapy witnessing a negative impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the market exhibited a lower growth of 2.4% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The market is projected to grow from USD 4.10 billion in 2021 to USD 6.08 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.8% during the 2021-2028 period. The rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth rate, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Speech-language pathology is a field of rehabilitation services provided by speech therapists or speech and 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.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), an estimated 1 in 12 children in the U.S. aged between 3 years to 17 years suffer from disorders related to voice, speech, and language or swallowing. The increasing prevalence of speech disorders among children and adults in the country, coupled with increasing initiatives by the government to promote speech therapy care among the affected population in the U.S., are some of the factors set to propel the growth of the market during the forecast period. Additionally, the presence of favorable reimbursement policies for vocal therapy in the U.S. and the rising shift towards teletherapy are expected to offer lucrative growth opportunities to market players.
Decline in Referrals to SLPs in First Half of 2020 Due to COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Growth
The outbreak of the coronavirus has had a minimal impact on the market. A decline in the number of referrals to speech-language pathologists (SLP) was observed in the country during the pandemic owing to the restrictions of lockdown imposed by the government. 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 compensated for the decline in inpatient visits in outpatient departments in the U.S. from Q1 to Q4 2020.
For instance, according to an article published by Health Leaders, it was observed that speech-language pathologists were efficient in providing rehabilitation services to critically ill COVID-19 patients for the damage caused by mechanical ventilators, which included injury to vocal cords and muscles.
This was further compensated by the shift of speech-language pathologists towards telehealth services for catering to the needs of patients during the pandemic. This, along with reimbursement policies by the U.S. government for telehealth services, augmented the demand for these services during 2020.
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Shift of Patients toward Teletherapy is an Ongoing Trend Observed in Market
Speech therapy can be provided in various ways, including real-time visits via audio, video, or both, by avoiding actual contact between patients and therapists. Also, 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.
Also, market players to improve user experience are already taking initiatives and citing the opportunity to fulfill patient’s demands through teletherapy. For instance, in July 2020, Therapy Solutions Inc. arranged a virtual summer camp at the Philadelphia Zoo for its younger patients to provide therapy sessions during the pandemic. Hence, such initiatives by market players and medical associations have led to introducing a new approach for consulting patients, i.e., teletherapy, and is gaining a huge acceptance among speech-language pathologists and the patient population in the country.
Rising Prevalence of Speech & Language Disorders in the U.S. to Fuel Market Growth
The increasing number of pediatric populations suffering from speech & language disorders, such as articulation, aphasia, stuttering, and others, in the U.S. generates a huge demand for effective treatment therapy.
Additionally, it is estimated by various studies that among all patients suffering from neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's and stroke, a higher percentage of patients suffers from speech and voice disorders that can affect the quality of life of a patient if not treated properly.
Thus, such statistics, along with the presence of favorable reimbursement policies for speech-language pathology services in the U.S., are improving the demand for speech therapy in the country and will subsequently propel the U.S. speech therapy market growth during the forecast period.
High Cost of Treatment and Shortage of Speech Therapists can Restrict Growth of Market
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 speech therapy in the U.S. However, the cost to benefit ratio of the therapy is not being 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, still, the condition cannot be fully cured.
Also, the shortage of speech-language pathologists (SLP) has been observed across the country, but rural areas face challenges in recruiting new candidates. 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 growth of the market in the country.
Speech Disorders Segment held the Dominant Share in 2020
Based on type, the U.S. speech therapy market is segmented into speech disorders, language disorders, neurological conditions, and others. The speech disorder segment held a dominant share in 2020, which is attributable to the presence of a large patient population with speech disorders, along with the higher proportion of these patients undergoing voice therapy in the U.S. The neurological conditions segment is expected to register a significant CAGR due to the increasing number of patients with speech and swallowing problems due to neurological conditions, including dementia, stroke, etc.
On the other hand, the language 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. and the gradually increasing patient population with aphasia and traumatic brain injury undergoing rehabilitation therapy.
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Pediatrics Segment to Dominate the Market during the Forecast Period
Based on age, the market is categorized into pediatrics and adults. Among them, the pediatrics segment held a dominating share in 2020. 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 special education facilities in the U.S.
However, the adults segment is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR owing to the rising prevalence of speech and voice disorders among the adult population in the country.
Kindred Healthcare, LLC and Genesis Rehab Services Dominated in 2020 Fueled by Their Strong Direct Presence
Various players are operating in this market, consisting of large, mid-size, and small companies that provide different types of services for voice therapy in the U.S. Also, the current market scenario in the U.S. is fragmented. Kindred Healthcare, LLC and Genesis Rehab Services are some of the major players who held the market's dominant share in 2020. The dominance of these companies is attributed to their strong direct presence across the country, their robust services portfolio, and their highly skilled workforce.
Also, few market players are focusing on adopting growth strategies, such as partnerships and mergers, on expanding their customer base in the U.S. For instance, in November 2020, Reliant Rehabilitation partnered with Diversicare Healthcare Services, Inc. to commercialize its services across the U.S. Other prominent players operating in the U.S. market include BenchMark Physical Therapy Institute, Humanus Corporation, Smart Speech Therapy, Therapy Solutions Inc., and Rehabilitation Associates, Inc.
An Infographic Representation of U.S. Speech Therapy Market
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The U.S. speech therapy market research report provides a granular overview of the industry by performing corporate analysis and accurate data. It focuses on key aspects, such as leading companies, type, and age. Besides this, it offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report analyzes and understands several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the market stood at USD 3.94 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 6.08 billion by 2028.
In 2020, the market value stood at USD 3.94 billion.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 5.8% during the forecast period (2021-2028).
The speech disorder segment is set to lead the market by type.
The increasing prevalence of speech & language disorders, and the rising initiatives taken by the government to promote speech therapy are the key factors driving the market.
Genesis Rehab Service and Kindred Healthcare, LLC are the top players in the market.
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