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Long-Term Care: Multiple Concerns

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Long-Term Care: Multiple Concerns

October 02, 2008

About 70 percent of the elderly will require some type of long-term care services during their lifetimes, and more than 40 percent will need nursing home care. At any given time, about 1.5 million people live in one of the nation's 15,000 nursing homes. Nursing homes are heavily regulated by the federal and state governments, which pay for about two-thirds of all residents through the Medicaid and, to a lesser extent, Medicare programs (pricetag: $75 billion a year.) Assisted living, however, is governed by different rules in each state and is generally paid for with private dollars. In the future, financing care for Baby Boomers will be a challenge, since most people don't buy long-term care insurance. For-profit corporations own about two-thirds of all nursing homes and report a higher average number of licensing deficiencies than homes owned by nonprofit organizations.

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