Chart of the Day: Steep Declines in Medicaid Nursing Home Usage

An aging population doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in the number of Medicaid beneficiaries, especially for those using the federal program to fund nursing home stays, according to a recent chart from AARP

Although nursing homes are one of the biggest drivers of Medicaid costs among the older population, notes AARP, use in these care settings has plummeted since 1995 to a figure that currently sits at barely more than 1 million.



Image credit: AARP

Healthcare shifts to less costly care settings stands to be a significant factor in the decline for nursing home use among Medicaid beneficiaries, as home and community-based service options tend to be more in line with individual’s desires to age in place, while also placing less cost burden on the federally funded program. 

The trending shift away from nursing home care among older Medicaid beneficiaries is not a product of strict measures to restrict the program’s population, notes AARP, but rather to implement more balanced programs that shift resources away from institutionalized care services to home-like settings.


Currently, 55% of Medicaid expenditures for senior beneficiaries still go toward nursing home services, though this figure is down from 76% in 1975, according to AARP.   

Written by Jason Oliva