NU Online News Service, Aug. 4, 2003, 4:42 p.m. EDT – The average price for a year in a nursing home in one of the five most expensive areas in the United States is about $85,000, according to survey results released by the long term care division of GE Financial, Richmond, Va.

Evans Research Associates, San Francisco, gathered the statistics by surveying 2,218 skilled and intermediate care nursing homes across the country in May. Researchers asked only about the cost of basic care, not about the cost of therapy, medications, or services such as home care.

GE Financial sponsored a similar survey in December 2001.

Between December 2001 and May, the national annual average cost of a year in a nursing home increased to $57,700, from $54,900.

In 2001, researchers found that daily costs at the homes it surveyed ranged from $52 at a home in Montana to $704 at a home in Alaska.

This year, daily costs ranged from $69 at a home in Oklahoma to $720 at a home in Alaska.