Residential Care Facilities: A Key Sector in the Spectrum of Long-term Care Providers in the United States

Source: Eunice Park-Lee, Christine Caffrey, Manisha Sengupta, Abigail J. Moss, Emily Rosenoff, and Lauren D. Harris-Kojetin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS Data Brief, No. 78, DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 2012-1209, December 2011

From the key findings:
• In 2010, residential care facilities (RCFs) totaled 31,100, with 971,900 beds nationwide.
• About one-half of RCFs were small facilities with 4-10 beds. The remainder comprised medium facilities with 11-25 beds (16%), large facilities with 26-100 beds (28%), and extra large facilities with more than 100 beds (7%).
• One-tenth of all RCF residents lived in small RCFs and about that percentage (9%) lived in medium facilities, while the majority resided in large (52%) or extra large (29%) RCFs.
• About 4 in 10 RCFs had one or more residents who had some or all of their long-term care services paid by Medicaid.
• Larger RCFs were more likely than small RCFs to be chain-affiliated and to provide occupational therapy, physical therapy, social services counseling, and case management.

Residential care facilities (RCFs) – such as assisted living facilities and personal care homes-provide housing and supportive services to persons who cannot live independently but generally do not require the skilled level of care provided by nursing homes. RCFs are not federally regulated, and state approaches to RCF regulation vary widely. The ability to provide a comprehensive picture of the long-term care (LTC) industry has been hampered by the lack of data on RCFs. Previous estimates of the size of the RCF sector varied depending on how RCFs were defined. Using data from the first nationally representative survey of RCFs with four or more beds, this report presents national estimates of RCFs and compares characteristics and services by facility size.

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