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Amid Rising Long-Term Care Costs, MD Ranks Among Most Expensive Nursing Home States

Costs of long-term care have risen across the board – from in-home care services and home health aides to residential nursing homes, which saw costs increase by more than 4% year over year. And, according to a recent industry survey from Genworth Financial, Maryland ranks among the top when it comes to the nation’s most expenses states for nursing care.

The ranking comes from Genworth’s latest Cost of Care Survey, which is based on more than 11,000 surveys of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day health facilities, and home care providers. The 2024 survey collected data on rates for 2023 and 2022 and includes over 420 major metro regions nationwide.

As the survey found, costs of care rose across all provider types. This includes:

  • A 4.4% year-over-year increase for a semi-private room in a skilled nursing facility, to a median annual cost of $104,000.
  • A 4.9% increase for a private room in a nursing home, to a median annual cost of $116,800.
  • A 1.4% year-over-year increase in assisted living facility rates, to a median annual cost of $64,200 (compared to a total 18.9% increase from 2021 to 2023).
  • A 10% increase for a home health aide, who provides personal assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating, to a median annual cost of $75,500.
  • A 7.1% increase in homemaker services, which include tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and running errands, to a median annual cost of $68,600.

The survey also ranked the country’s top 15 most expensive states for nursing home care – a list which featured Maryland at #13. Here are the numbers for various long-term care options in Maryland:

  • Average Nursing Home Bed Cost: $146,092
  • Semi-Private Room: $138,153
  • Private Room: $154,000
  • Homemaker Services: $68,640
  • Home Health Aide: $75,504
  • Day Health Care: $27,300
  • Assisted Living Facility: $82,000

The list of the top 15 most expensive states for nursing home care according to the 2024 Cost of Care Survey is as follows:

  1. Alaska
  2. Connecticut
  3. Oregon
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Vermont
  6. New York
  7. Washington
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Maine
  10. New Hampshire
  11. California
  12. Hawaii
  13. Maryland
  14. New Jersey
  15. West Virginia

Paying More For Less: The Problem With America’s Nursing Home System

In the current economic climate, most consumers are all too familiar with the rising costs of goods and services. Many also have first-hand experiences, and a better understanding of, things like inflation, which is the general increase in prices, and shrinkflation, a process in which companies downsize their products without downsizing prices.

And while nursing homes aren’t pasta or potato chips, they too have been affected by the financial environment. That much is evident in the rising costs of housing in U.S. nursing homes and the increasingly poorer quality of care that nursing home residents are receiving.

But while we can ascribe at least some of these issues to the current state of the economy, there’s another and much more devious driving factor at play. Specifically: the steady increase in for-profit, investor-owned nursing homes and the general commodification of facilities that, while designed to function as essential services for the elderly and vulnerable, are being treated as investment vehicles by entities with little experience or training in providing care.

This financialization of long-term care is biggest current problem with America’s nursing home system, which has blossomed into a $34 billion-dollar industry. Not only does it mean that residents (and their families) are paying more to stay in these facilities, but they’re also paying more for a lot less – that is, fewer services, fewer staff (especially amid the current nursing home staffing shortage), and an overall lower quality of care. The only thing that nursing home residents and families may be getting more of are risks – including greater risks of injury, higher rates of neglect, and more cases of abuse, exploitation, and wandering.

These problems all circle back to private equity and real estate speculators who treat nursing homes as investments. To these profit-motivated parties – many of whom take decisive steps to cut costs and support for residents so they can increase payouts to shareholders – the people in their homes are merely products and the care they’re meant to provide is ancillary to the goal of increasing their return.

Sadly, though definitely not unexpectedly, this has had disastrous consequences on the vulnerable individuals who reside in our nation’s increasingly more expensive nursing homes. This includes, as we’ve previously covered on our blog, worse outcomes, higher rates of neglect, and more deaths. It’s also not a problem unique to the U.S. In Canada, for example, nearly half of retirement homes are owned by private equity, institutions, or other financial firms

While there are solutions in the works, including efforts to better attract and support qualified nursing home staff, these are major problems that require major solutions. That likely means establishing more robust care standards, making improvements in oversight and data collection, and – perhaps most difficult of all – laws that meaningfully address the issue of for-profit financial ownership.

Brown & Barron, LLC: Fighting for Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Victims

As a firm with a special focus on fighting for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, our team at Brown & Barron, LLC knows all too well how the influence of money in our nation’s nursing home and assisted living facilities has negatively impacted residents and families. This includes many problems caused by chronic understaffing and a general lack of qualified and adequately trained staff, as well as increased risks for falls, physical injuries, unnoticed bed sores, and unchecked abuse and neglect.

As our nation’s nursing home industry continues to struggle with the deeper-seated problems at play, our award-winning attorneys remain as committed as ever to raising awareness about the current state of affairs and helping victims and families fight for justice after suffering preventable harms and losses.

If you have questions about a potential case anywhere in Baltimore or the state of Maryland, we can help. Give us a call at (410) 698-1717 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
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