New Survey Examines the Public's Views of Nursing Homes

Many Americans believe insurance will cover their nursing home needs, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study found that 30 percent of adults expect private insurance to be the main source of funds if they or a family member needed nursing home care. In reality, private insurance pays for only a small share of nursing home expenses (8 percent), while Medicaid pays nearly half of these costs nationwide.

The findings are based on the latest Kaiser Health Poll Report survey, which looked at the public's view on long-term care. The survey found that 46 percent of respondents had a family member or close friend in a nursing home in the past year, but nursing homes have a negative image. The survey found the following:

  • Only 35 percent of people say that nursing homes are doing a "good job" serving consumers - far fewer than report the same about nurses (84 percent), doctors (69 percent) and hospitals (64 percent).
  • Twice as many adults say being in a nursing home makes people 'worse off' than they were before (41 percent) as say that nursing homes make people 'better off' (19 percent).
  • 74 percent of the public agrees that nursing homes don't have enough staff. The public also believes the staff is poorly trained (60 percent) and that there is too much waste, fraud and abuse by nursing home managers (58 percent).

To see the full survey, click here.