In-home service costs rise in R.I.

THE COST for long-term, in-home care services in Rhode Island has risen over the past five years, according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey. For a larger version of this image, click HERE.
Posted 4/10/12

RICHMOND, Va. – The cost for long-term, in-home care services in Rhode Island has risen over the past five years, according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey.

Nationally, the average hourly cost for homemaker services and home health aide services is $18 and $19, respectively. In Rhode Island, homemaker services cost $20 per hour – roughly $125 a day on average – and home health aid services cost $24 per hour – $150 a day.

In the last five years, the hourly cost for homemaker services in Rhode Island has exhibited a compound annual growth rate of 3.9 percent, while the hourly cost of home health aid services has increased 1.8 percent annually.

“Consumer demand for home care services has led to a proliferation of home care services providers and more choice for consumers,” Steve Zabel, sernior vice president of Long Term Care at Genworth said in prepared remarks. “This competition has kept home care costs relatively stable, especially when compared to the cost of care in a nursing home or assisted living facility.”

Nationally, the average cost for an assisted living facility is $39,600 a year, having increased 5.7 percent annually over the last five years. In Rhode Island, the yearly cost for an assisted living facility is $46,770, an increase of 9.2 percent annually over the last five years.

The annual cost for a private nursing home room across the U.S. rose an average 4.3 percent annually to $81,030, while costs in Rhode Island increased 5.6 percent a year to $114,975 during that period.

According to the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the number of Medicare-certified home care agencies in the U.S. rose 20 percent from 9,200 to 11,000 in 2012. During this period, the number of Medicare-certified nursing homes rose less than one half a percent from 15,000 to 15,100.

“The number of nursing homes is increasing at a slower rate and no longer represents the only option,” said the report.

The Genworth Cost of Care Survey is in its ninth year and provides national and local long-term care cost data as well as information on cost inflation over time.

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Interesting numbers. The article states that home health aides cost $24 per hour, so $150 per day. That conclusion rests on an unstated assumption.

The cost is $150 per day IF you need the health aide for around six hours per day. The cost would be under $50 per day if you only needed the aide two hours per day. Conversely, if you need round-the-clock help,(as is the case with most nursing home residents), the cost would be $576 per day -- far more than the cost of nursing home care. Cost effectiveness of one compared to the other depends on a person's individual needs.

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