News and Commentary

Study Reports On LTC Costs

Results of a national study that identifies nationwide costs associated with home health care, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing facilities suggest that living at home for people of retirement age is a viable financial option, according to the “2010 Cost of Care” report issued by Univita, a company that provides service and support for patients receiving home-based medical care.

That’s because the annual cost of a private room in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility averages $90,155. The average daily rate for a single-occupancy private room amounts to $247.

“Studies have shown that the vast majority of people of retirement age wish to remain in their homes indefinitely, and our annual study reiterates that staying at home is a financially viable option,” says Hugh Lytle, president and chief executive officer of Univita.

The researchers contacted more than 2,000 nursing homes, 2,000 assisted living facilities, and 2,000 home health care agencies to complete more than 6,000 surveys in April and May 2010. They obtained private-pay rates for single occupancy rooms in Medicare-certified skilled nursing facilities, hourly rates for home health aides for Medicare-certified and non-certified home health care agencies, and monthly rates for assisted living facilities.

Additional findings include:

  • The region with the most expensive average daily rate for a private, single-occupancy room in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility is Anchorage, Alaska and costs $576 per day.
  • The region with the least expensive daily average rate for a private, single-occupancy room in a Medicare-certified skilled nursing facility is Lafayette, La. and costs $143 per day.
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