Local governments and community planners cannot underestimate the escalating costs associated with long-term healthcare in an aging economy. This 2012 Genworth Report surveys the costs associated with long-term care across three settings: home, community and facility. Conducted by CareScout, the annual survey “covers nearly 15,300 long term care providers...in 437 regions nationwide” (page 3), making it one of the most comprehensive in the nation.
In survey after survey, nine out of ten older adults report they want to “age in place.” According to this annual Genworth report, nearly 70 percent of those age 65+ are projected to need long-term care services. The question then is where will that care be provided, at what cost and who will pay for it (Medicare does not currently cover long-term care costs). The Genworth reports annual costs by market for six different varieties of long-term care services: Homemaker services (licensed), Home Health Aide services (licensed), Adult Day Health Care, Assisted Living, Nursing Home (semi-private), and Nursing Home (private). They present costs by state, community/city/region and provides tools for easy comparisons between localities.
Other plan highlights include:
- Home services costs are virtually unchanged nationally. The national median hourly rates did not increase from 2011 to 2012. Incentivizing home services as an option for an aging population may be the most cost-efficient way of addressing long-term care solutions.
- The long-term service listed under the “community” designation is that of Adult Day Health Care. Between 2011 and 2012, Adult Day Health Care costs increased by 1.67 percent nationally. As communities wrestle with which services to provide its constituency, it should be noted that Adult Day Health Care services are often viewed as discretionary spending services for Area Agencies on Aging. Yet, this community long-term care service is far less expensive for older adults than nursing care facility options – which continue to escalate.
How to Use
As residents seek to “age in place,” emphasizing “non-skilled” home services as a long-term option and in greater coordination with assisted living and nursing facilities could ultimately save your community money. Coordinating these services for the community will require leadership and planning. Moreover, with Americans paying “approximately $15,330 more per year today than they had to pay in 2007” (page 7), local governments and planners may be required to fill this role due to the sheer economic disparity between those who need services and those who can afford them.
View full report: Genworth Cost of Care Survey – 2012 (PDF – 1 MB)