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Nursing Home Studies Reveal Benefit of Long Term Care Insurance

2009-08-07 10:39

While less than a third of benefits from US long-term care insurance companies pays for nursing home care, most Americans still associate policies with a costly nursing home stay according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. Two studies now look at the benefits of this increasingly popular protection.

A report published in the organization's annual Sourcebook revealed that nine percent of nursing home residents would have delayed going to a nursing home for necessary care in the absence of a nursing home policy. Some 13 percent reported they would have used a less costly provider in the absence of having long-term care insurance.

A new report issued this week has found that non-profit nursing homes provide better care than for-profit facilities. According to Canadian researchers, a review of 82 studies conducted starting in 1965 reported that 40 studies found that non-profit nursing homes provided significantly better quality care, while three studies concluded that for-profit homes delivered better care. The remaining studies had mixed results. Most of the studies were conducted in Canada and the United States.

Non-profit homes did better in four important quality measures: more or higher quality staffing; lower rates of pressure ulcers; less use of physical restraints; and fewer deficiencies cited by regulatory agencies.

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Based on their findings, the researchers calculated that if all nursing homes were non-profit, nursing home residents in the United States would receive 500,000 more hours of nursing care per day, while those in Canada would receive 42,000 more hours of nursing care per day.

The findings of the second study which were published online in the British Medical Journal suggest a trend toward higher quality care in non-profit nursing homes than in for-profit homes, said the researchers.

Last year American long-term care insurance companies paid some $8.5 billion in benefits to some 180,000 individuals. Some of the largest claims, typically for care in skilled nursing home facilities, exceed $1 million according to the industry organization. Long-term care insurance provides individuals with the ability to choose where care is provided, notes one industry expert. Choice and control are great benefits.

Written by Jesse Slome from the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance

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