The Growth and Geographical Variation of Nursing Home Self-pay Prices

Published: 2017
Project ID: UM17-14


Skilled nursing home care is arguably the largest financial risk for the elderly without private or social insurance coverage. The self-pay prices escalate more than 50 percent during the past decade. Despite such drastic growth and substantial financial burdens on the elderly, the understanding of nursing home self-pay prices is rather sparse due to data limitation. Preliminary results show substantial geographical variations of the self-pay prices. Using a unique price dataset (multiple states from 1995 to 2013), the proposed project aims to understand the determinants and geographical variations of the price growth. We focus on the relationship between prices and chain-affiliation and for-profit ownership and aim to contain price growth and regulate potential monopolistic power of large nursing home chains. Ultimately, we expect our results enhance affordability of nursing home care and inform policies that benefit the elderly’s wealth and retirement income and improve the sustainability of Medicaid.