The average annual cost of a private room in a U.S. nursing home has increased to $69,400.[@@]

Genworth Financial Inc., Richmond, Va., has published that figure in its latest LTC market report.

The outside researchers who compiled the figures for Genworth are basing their statistics on a survey of about 7,000 providers.

Costs in urban areas were 12% higher than nonurban areas, and costs were more than 50% higher in urbanized areas in states such as California, Minnesota and New York than in non-urban areas in the same states, researchers found.

The average annual national cost of a private room in a nursing home was $69,400, or $190 per day, according to the survey. The 2004 average increased 6% from the 2003 average.

The average annual cost of a semiprivate room in a nursing home was $61,000, or $167 per day.

In the Genworth study report, cost averages for a private room range from $44,000 in Kansas and North Dakota up to $201,000 in Alaska.

Other Genworth study findings:

- The average annual cost of a private room in an assisted living facility was $30,300.

- Home health aides averaged $18.58 per hour.

- Homemaker services cost an average of $16.82 per hour.