As baby boomers reach retirement age, the healthcare system is feeling the strain. Acute care and nursing homes are hit especially hard by rising costs and staff shortages. By 2026, the long-term care market in the United States will reach $737 billion by some estimates.
In 2018 there were 52 million people in the United States who were over the age of 65. By 2060 that figure is projected to nearly double. More than half of Americans will need long-term care in their lifetime, which means that the system will continue to be taxed more and more.
Despite the demand for nursing homes and long-term or acute care facilities, many such facilities are facing closures. Over the last two decades half of hospital-based nursing facilities closed, while 16% of certified nursing homes have closed and 10% of rural nursing homes have closed or merged.
Medicaid reimbursement rates are one of the reasons behind such closures, but there are other factors at work. Overspending and waste are two of the culprits most easily dealt with when it comes to trimming costs without cutting quality of care.
In order for nursing homes and long-term care facilities to remain open and serving patients, significant changes will need to be made in cost and spending management. Learn more about the business of post-acute care below.