Report Claims It’s Tough to Determine Whether Community-Based Long-Term Care is Superior to Entering a Nursing Home in Illinois and Throughout the Nation

A report recently published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) found that there is no evidence to support the often accepted idea that home or community-based long-term care is less expensive than or provides superior care over institutions such as skilled nursing facilities. Instead, study authors argue that community-based elder care solutions reportedly benefit consumers who prefer to avoid entering a long-term care facility. The AHRQ report defines long-term care as daily living, housing, and medical care over an extended time frame.

According to the AHRQ, the question of how to provide the best, most economical long-term care solutions for the nation’s aging population has become increasingly important as states continue to experience revenue shortfalls. Currently, about 1.4 million U.S. residents reportedly reside in a skilled nursing facility. Approximately 40 percent of all long-term care provided throughout the country is paid for by federal Medicaid insurance. In addition, an estimated 64 percent of the money spent on long-term care for Medicaid beneficiaries is paid to nursing homes. At this time, at least 11 million Americans require some type of long-term care to assist them in their daily lives and about 55 percent of those individuals are reportedly age 65 or over. In addition, the AHRQ estimates that at least two-thirds of individuals who are over age 65 will require long-term care assistance for at least two years before the end of their lifetime.

The costs associated with receiving institutional care allegedly often exceed those for community-based elder care solutions. Because of this, many states have prioritized community-based solutions. Between 1995 and 2009, Medicaid spending on community-based long-term care solutions reportedly doubled. The AHRQ report argues, however, that there is no evidence that community-based solutions provide superior care. Still, skilled nursing facility residents allegedly exhibit more physical and cognitive impairment than individuals who utilize assisted living or community-based solutions. Because of this, the study authors reportedly believe more research should be performed to determine the exact cause of the disparity.

Families in Illinois often turn to skilled nursing facilities when they are no longer able to care for their elderly or disabled loved ones. Although nursing homes can be the best option for some patients, many need therapies that nursing homes are unable or unwilling to provide. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect can result when patients enter nursing facilities that are not equipped to properly care for them.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act was established to protect the rights of senior citizens and other individuals who live in long-term care facilities throughout the state. Those rights include the right to be free from abuse or neglect, the right to privacy, and the right to various levels of self-determination. If you believe the rights of your elderly or disabled friend or family member were violated by a long-term care facility, you should discuss your concerns with a skilled nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.

If your loved one was neglected or abused while residing at an Illinois skilled nursing facility, do not hesitate to contact the experienced lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. Our dedicated Chicago Metro nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to help you protect the rights of your elderly or disabled loved ones. For a free consultation with a capable lawyer, please give Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596.

More Blogs:

Influenza Epidemic Places Nursing Home Residents in Illinois and Nationwide at Risk, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 27, 2013
Federal Nursing Home Deficiency Reports Available Without Redactions for the First Time in Illinois and Nationwide, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, January 24, 2013
Additional Resources:

Is Community Care Better Than Nursing Homes? Survey Says: It’s Hard to Tell, by Alyssa Gerace,


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