Home Health Dominates Services for Nation’s 8 Million LTC Users

More than half of the approximately 8.4 million Americans who receive paid long-term care were using home health services, according to a first-of-its-kind report on senior care services and users. 

The nation’s 12,200 home health agencies served about 4.7 million patients in 2011, the latest year when data was available, says the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The report collected data from around 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care services providers in 2012 split into five categories—nursing homes, assisted living communities, home health agencies, hospice agencies, and adult day services centers—and includes information on provider capacity, staffing level, and services provided, along with a national profile of long-term care users. 


More than 8 million Americans received services from 4,800 adult day services centers, 12,200 home health agencies, 3,700 hospices, 15,700 nursing homes, and 22,200 assisted living and residential care communities. 

Of those, home health agencies served the largest population, followed by nursing homes with nearly 1.4 million residents and the more than 1.2 million patients who received hospice services. 
Source: CDC/NCHS, National Study of Long-Term Care Providers

The number of people using nursing homes, assisted living, or home care services is projected to increase from 15 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050, according to the CDC. Most of the increase is attributed to a projected growth in the senior population and corresponding need for care services. 

In 2012, nearly 1.5 million nursing employee full-time equivalents were working in the five long-term care sectors, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and aides. Nearly two-thirds of those worked in nursing homes, while around 19% worked in assisted living communities and 10% were employed by home health agencies. Only about 5% were employed by hospices and adult day services centers. 


Access the full report

Written by Alyssa Gerace