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REPORT: Care Costs Increase in Home Care and Nursing Home Settings

April 10, 2013

The costs of care received in nursing homes, facilities, and at home continue to rise, according to Genworth Financial‘s 2013 edition of its annual Cost of Care Survey.

The report used data from more than 15,000 long-term care providers throughout the country to determine the median rates for a range of long-term care services:

  • Licensed Homemaker Services — $18 median hourly rate; up 1.39 percent from 2012; no change from 2011; five-year annual growth rate of 0.84 percent
  • Licensed Home Health Aide Services — $19 median hourly rate; up 2.32 percent from 2012; five-year annual growth rate of 1 percent
  • Adult Day Health Care — $65 median day rate; up 6.56 percent from 2012; five-year annual growth rate of 1.61 percent
  • Assisted Living Facility, One Bedroom, Single Occupancy — $3,450 median monthly rate; up 4.55 percent from 2012; five-year annual growth rate of 4.26 percent
  • Nursing Home, Semi-Private Room — $207 median daily rate; up 3.3 percent from 2012; five-year annual growth rate of 4.22 percent
  • Nursing Home, Private Room — $230 median daily rate; up 3.6 percent from 2012; five-year annual growth rate of 4.45 percent

The report notes that, compared with nursing home and facility-based care, the cost of home care services has remained “relatively flat over the past five years.”

“Home care rates have remained flat in part because of increased competition among agencies and the availability of unskilled labor, and because the companies that provide these types of services do not incur the costs associated with maintaining stand-alone health care facilities,” the report says.

“The report fails to mention one major reason home care costs have remained flat: the very low wages paid to home care workers,” said PHI National Policy Director Steve Edelstein. “In fact, adjusted for inflation, home care workers’ wages have actually declined by 12 percent between 2001 and 2011.”

Edelstein continued:

Far from being a cheap source of “unskilled labor,” home care workers do dangerous and important work that requires training to be performed safely and well. If we are to honor our commitment to serving the needs of our nation’s elders and people with disabilities, we can no longer perpetuate a system that relies on the exploitation of this vital workforce to keep costs low.

— by Matthew Ozga

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