Nursing home capacity down across country, CDC report finds

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While nursing homes remain the top long-term care providers in most regions of the United States, residential care communities are steadily gaining ground, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC's National Study of Long-Term Care Providers uses providers surveys and government data to compile statistics on LTC supply, staffing, services and user characteristics from adult day services centers, home health agencies, hospices, nursing homes and residential care communities.

The study's latest report, released Monday, shows nursing home capacities decreased in every region between 2012 and 2014. Despite the decrease, nursing homes remain the dominant LTC provider in all regions but one; residential care communities overtook nursing homes in the West, with 27 beds per 1,000 residents aged 65 and older compared to 23 beds per 1,000 residents.

The Northeast, Midwest and South had 41, 48 and 34 beds per 1,000 residents age 65 and older, respectively. Those numbers represent a drop in capacity compared to the CDC's first ever long-term care report, released in 2013.

Overall, 15,600 nursing homes across the country provided a total of 1,663,300 certified beds in 2014. Nursing homes ranged in capacity from 2 to 1,389 certified beds, with an average of 106 beds per facility. The majority of the country's nursing homes are concentrated in the South and Midwest, and are located in metropolitan areas, the report found.

It also showed Alzheimer's disease and depression to be nearly tied as the most common diseases among nursing home residents, at 50.4% and 48.7%, respectively.

To read the full CDC report, click here.