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Genworth: Nursing Home Tab Nears $75,000

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Although rates charged for home-based long term care have been fairly level in recent years, nursing home costs have risen almost 5% annually from 2004 through 2007, according to Genworth Financial Inc.

Medicare-certified nursing homes in Genworth’s 2007 cost survey charged private-room rates averaging $204.95 a day, or $74,806 a year, up 5.5% from $194.28 a day in 2006, according to Genworth, Richmond, Va.

This year, rates for semiprivate rooms rose 5.5%, to $180.78 a day, or $65,985 annually, from $171.32 a day.

Among assisted living faculties, rates for single-bedroom units averaged $2,714.38 a month, or $32,572.56 annually, up about 1% over 2006′s daily rate of $2,691.20.

Nationally, the average hourly private care rate charged by a certified home care agency is $32.37, down almost 11% from the average for 2006.

Here are some other average rates for home care services:

- Noncertified, licensed homemaker: $17.46 an hour, up 1.5%.

- Noncertified, licensed home health aide: $18.57 an hour, down 16.2%.

Rates charged by home health care providers have stayed low for a number of reasons, including increased competition among home care agencies and the wide availability of unskilled labor, Genworth says.

Costs for nursing home facilities and home care services varied widely across the nation.

Alaska ($196,735), New York City ($135,853) and non-urban areas in Connecticut ($120,479) had the highest annual private room nursing home rates.

Non-urban areas in Louisiana and Missouri had the lowest rates, at about $44,000.


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