National Nursing Home Survey Just Released

This new report presents an overview of the nursing homes and residents surveyed in the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey (NNHS), the seventh in a series of periodic surveys of nursing homes conducted since 1973 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Health Care Statistics.

Nursing homes are a crucial component of the long-term care system. According to the 2004 NNHS, there were almost 1.5 million nursing home residents in 16,100 facilities. This number of current residents is similar to survey results from 1985 but still represents a decrease of more than 136,100 residents from 1999. The most recent projections indicate that the number of Americans needing long-term care will double between 2000 and 2050. Policymakers, health care providers, and consumers all need accurate and representative information on the characteristics of nursing homes and their residents to best plan for a continuum of long-term care and to determine the most appropriate location for care.

Other statistics from this report include:

  • Most of the nursing homes were proprietary (61.5 percent); 30.8 percent were operated as voluntary nonprofit facilities, and the remaining 7.7 percent were owned by government and other entities.
  • More nursing homes were certified by both Medicare and Medicaid (87.6 percent) than in 1999 (81.8 percent).
  • More than two-thirds (67.7 percent) of all nursing facilities were located in MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas), and 66.6 percent were located in the Midwest and the South.
  • Nursing homes were either independently operated (45.8 percent) or were part of a chain with a common affiliation (54.2 percent).
  • Selected services provided to nursing home residents are delivered through formal contracts with outside providers. Pharmacy (84.1 percent) and medical director (83.5 percent) were the services most commonly provided under contract. Other services commonly provided by outside sources included hospice (78.1 percent), therapy services (68.7 percent), podiatry services (66 percent), dental and oral services (62.5 percent), and diagnostic services (58.9 percent).
  • Nursing homes used different and multiple arrangements to provide medical services, including using private physicians from the community (85.9 percent), contracting with physician group practices (30.1 percent), and employing physicians on staff (19.6 percent).
  • A total of 936,000 persons (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, nurse’s aides, and orderlies) provided nursing care to nursing home residents. Of these workers, the majority were employees of the nursing home and 18,600 were contract workers.
  • Certified nursing assistants (600,800) represented the majority of all nursing staff employed in nursing homes.
  • Of the 1.5 million nursing home residents, 88.3 percent were aged 65 years and older and 45.2 percent were aged 85 years and older.
  • Midwestern states had 68.2 nursing home residents per 10,000 civilian residents, whereas states in the West averaged 31.5 per 10,000 population. There were 60.8 residents per 10,000 population in the Northeast and 47.7 per 10,000 in the South. About 73.5 percent of Hispanic or Latino nursing home residents were located in the South and West.
  • Black residents were twice as likely as white residents to be under age 65 years (21.9 percent versus 10 percent) and were less likely to be aged 85 years and older (30.2 percent versus 47.7 percent). About 84.7 percent of black residents were from MSAs, compared with 74 percent of their white counterparts.
  • Of the nursing home population reported to be of Hispanic or Latino origin, 22.8 percent were under age 65 years, compared with 11.2 percent of not Hispanic or Latino residents. Conversely, 24.6 percent of Hispanic or Latino nursing home residents were aged 85 years and older, compared with 46.1 percent of residents who were not Hispanic or Latino. MSAs accounted for 86.6 percent of Hispanic or Latino nursing home residents, compared with 75 percent of not Hispanic or Latino residents.
  • Of all nursing home residents, 71.2 percent were female. About 59.5 percent of Hispanic or Latino nursing home residents were female, compared with 71.6 percent of their not Hispanic or Latino counterparts. Among black residents, 63.5 percent were female, compared with 72.6 percent of their white counterparts.

To learn more about how this study was conducted and more information about length of stay averages and more, download the PDF report.

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