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Kaiser Foundation Overview of Nursing Facilities: Introduction (Part 1 of 6)

Nursing homes make up a substantial portion of long term medical care in the United States. Such facilities provide medical, skilled nursing, and rehabilitative services for its inpatient residents.

It is important to note that nursing home facilities are part of a larger long-term medical care system. However, because nursing homes are associated with higher costs than other long-term healthcare options (such as home-care or community-care), it receives a due amount of attention from those concerned with local, state, and federal policy relating to the future of long-term care in the United States.

For instance, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, spending on nursing facilities is estimated to be at $143 billion in 2010. Medicaid financed the majority of this spending. This reflects the high costs associated with long term care, especially among the elderly population. Most beneficiaries (and their families) of long-term medical care cannot afford the out-of-pocket cost of care, and Medicare only provides limited services.

What is more, the elderly population of the United States is growing. According to the Census Bureau, in 2010, 13 percent of the population was 65 or older. In 2040, this figure is expected to be 20 percent of the population. Along with the growth in the elderly population, the U.S. can expect to see the cost of long-term healthcare grow as well. As a result, we need to be able to better understand the state of long-term care both in terms of the present and in the future in order to adequately plan for the future burdens of long-term healthcare.

This blog series highlights data and findings set forth in a recently published report entitled “Overview of Nursing Facility Capacity, Financing, and Ownership in the United States in 2011” compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to researching major healthcare issues in which the United States faces.

The following reports will provide consumers with a digestible report on the status of long-term healthcare in this country. The last report in this series will also provide a detailed account of Minnesota’s long-term healthcare in and of itself, as well as in comparison to national figures and statistics.

For more information, follow our 6-part series by clicking on the following:

We should expect and insist on quality, safe care for our vulnerable adults.  If you or your loved one has suffered physical abuse or neglect by those entrusted to provide proper care, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online  or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.