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Study Finds Nursing Home Rates at All-Time High

It’s no secret that the cost of receiving post-acute care is high, but recent survey results show they are at an all-time high after rising by as much as 4% over the last five years. Costs vary significantly by state and service, with the highest increases occurring for care provided in a post-hospitalist facility.  post-acute-care-stethoscope-pen

Although it rose by 3% over 5 years, the least costly service for post-acute care patients is community provided Adult Day Health Care, according to the Cost of Care Survey conducted by Genworth Financial Incorporated. The national median for this sort of care is $16,900 per year. Alabama has the lowest average cost at $6,500 and Washington D.C. has the highest at $28,600.

Louisiana has the lowest rates for Homecare services for post-acute care patients. This category was broken into two categories: Homemaker Services and Home Health Aide Services.  Both had the lowest rise in costs over the last five years with a 1% increase.

Homemaker services in Louisiana average $32,000, more than $11,000 less than the national median of $45,188. North Dakota was highest at $56,445.

Home Health Aide services for post-acute care patients costs about $2,000 more per year than Homemaker services do. Louisiana’s average is $34,320, while Minnesota has the highest cost at $58,916. The national median is $45,188.

The type of post-hospitalist facility, room and services required for a post-acute care patient have a significant impact on the cost to a post-acute care patient. The Genworth survey broke them down into three categories: Assisted Living (single room), Nursing Home (semi-private room) and Nursing Home (private room).

All three experienced a 4% increase over the prior 5 years, and the differences between the lowest and highest costs are vast.

Of the three, Assisted Living Facilities have the lowest median price nationally at $42,000. On the low end is Missouri with an average cost of $30,000 annually. On the high end, more than $50,000 above Missouri, is Washington D.C. at $82,674.

A semi-private room in a Nursing Home in Texas will cost the average post-acute care patient $50,735, the lowest in the country. In Alaska, the equivalent will cost $237,250, nearly $160,000 above the national median of $77,380.

Alaska also has the highest cost for post-acute care in a private room in a Nursing Facility at $240,900. Oklahoma has the lowest cost at $57,488. The national median is $87,600.

The Affordable Care Act attempts to control costs and improve care in post-acute care facilities, but their success remains to be seen.

If you need help controlling costs and improving care in a post-acute care facility, contact General Medicine, The Post Hospitalist Company.

Tom Prose