The Determinants and Variation of Nursing Home Private-Pay Prices: Organizational and Market Structure

Sean Shenghsiu Huang, Jane Banaszak-Holl, Stephanie Yuan, Richard A. Hirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Nursing home (NH) care is arguably the most significant financial risk faced by the elderly without long-term care insurance or Medicaid coverage. Annual out-of-pocket expenditures for NH care can easily exceed $70,000. However, our understanding of private-pay prices is limited by data availability. Utilizing a unique data set on NH prices from 2005 through 2010 across eight states, we find that NH price growth has consistently outpaced growth in consumer and medical care prices. After adjusting for geographical and facility differences, for-profit chains charge the lowest prices, independently operated for-profit and nonprofit NHs have similar prices, and nonprofit chains charge the highest prices. Adjusted prices are also likely to be higher when NHs have higher occupancy rates and markets are more concentrated. The significant differences in price across organizational and market structures suggest private-pay prices can be an important factor when evaluating and comparing the value of NH care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-180
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • market structure
  • medical expenditure
  • nursing home
  • organizational structure
  • price
  • price variation

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