June 20 (UPI) -- Costs for nursing home care are climbing higher than other medical care, new findings show.
The study, published Thursday in Medical Care Research and Review, found nursing home prices from eight states between 2005 and 2010 exceeded inflation and medical care prices.
"Not many people have those kinds of resources, and so it is important to understand how fast price grow and how they vary," Sean Huang, an assistant professor at Georgetown University Medical Center and study lead author, said in a news release.
The researchers report, for example, that annual costs in California for nursing home care went up annually by about 30 percent. And when considering the cost from state to state, the researchers point out that the average annual cost in 2010 in New York state was more than double the cost in Texas.
The found wide variation in care costs, specifically by comparing nonprofit and for-profit facilities. Nonprofit nursing home chains charged the most expensive prices versus for-profit nursing home chains that delivered the lowest priced care. The overall price differential between the two was $4,160 each year.
The researchers note that understanding the costs and differences between facilities is important because people without private insurance typically pay out-of-pocket until they run out of money and qualify for Medicaid.
The researchers found nursing home care prices go up in areas around the United States with a heavier concentration of facilities, and when space in those residents is limited.
"Very few people have studied this topic, so it required building the largest dataset on nursing home prices to date," Huang said. "This kind of information is very valuable to potential consumers of this care."