Report: More Than 8 Million Americans Receive Long-Term Care Services

A first-of-its-kind report tallies the number of people in the United States who receive paid long-term care services at approximately 8.4 million.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released results from its first-ever National Study of Long-Term Care Providers, which collected data from around 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care services providers in 2012.

The report includes information on provider capacity, staffing level, and services provided, along with a national profile of long-term care users. 

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Source: CDC/NCHS, National Study of Long-Term Care Providers

Around 8.4 million Americans received services from 4,800 adult day services centers, 12,200 home health agencies, 3,700 hospices, 15,700 nursing homes, and 22,200 assisted living and residential care communities. 

Medicaid finances a major portion of paid long-term care services, the study found, followed by Medicare and private, out-of-pocket payments by individuals and their families. 

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The number of people using nursing homes, assisted living, or home care services is projected to increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050, according to the CDC. Most of the increase is attributed to a projected growth in the senior population and corresponding need for care services. 

The nation’s nursing homes have nearly 1.67 million certified beds and approximately 1.38 million residents. Residential care communities have more than 851,000 licensed beds with around 713,300 residents. Nursing homes serve, on average, more than twice the number of people daily as an adult day services center or a residential care community, the report found.

In 2012, nearly 1.5 million nursing employee full-time equivalents were working in the five long-term care sectors, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and aides. Nearly two-thirds of those worked in nursing homes, while around 19% worked in assisted living communities and 10% were employed by home health agencies. Only about 5% were employed by hospices and adult day services centers. 

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Written by Alyssa Gerace