The Changing Landscape of Nursing Homes in the United States: A Bed Count Map and Analysis
The State of Nursing Homes in the United States
Nursing homes are in important part of the American health can system. They provide longer-term care than hospitals are equipped to offer for patients that need close medical supervision around the clock. This applied both to people with chronic medical conditions, typically the elderly, as well as people who need more time to recover or rehabilitate than the couple of days of acute care in the hospital setting.
As the United States population ages, the need for this extended, intensive care is growing. At the same time, this corner of the US healthcare system is shrinking. As a recent Wall Street Journal article, The Upheaval at America's Disappearing Nursing Homes, in Charts, illustrates the number of skilled nursing facilities and the number of available nursing home beds has been slowly declining over the past decade.
The chart below shows the change in the number of nursing home beds from January 2014 through the most recent CMS data. (Right now that date is September 1, 2023). The chart and this page will updated each time CMS published new data.
The National Nursing Home Bed Count Map
Skilled Nursing Facility and Bed Change from 2014
|State||Change in Nursing Homes||Change in Nursing Home Beds|
Analysis of the Data
The data shows that the number of skilled nursing facilities and certified beds in the United States has declined since 2014. In January 2014, there were 15,653 skilled nursing facilities and 1,664,730 certified beds. As of the most recent data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there are now 14,956 facilities and 1,595,537 certified beds. This represents a decline of 697 nursing homes and 69,193 certified beds, or a decline of 4.45% in the number of nursing homes nationally and a decline of 4.16% in the number of beds.
This trend is occurring at a time when the population that requires this type of care is increasing, primarily due to the aging of the baby boomer generation. It is important to note that the decline in nursing homes is not uniform across all states. Some states have seen an increase in the number of nursing homes and certified beds, while others have experienced a decline.
For example, according to the CMS data, Texas added the most nursing home beds between 2014 and 2021, with an increase of 4,591 beds. Other states that added beds include California, Georgia, and Florida. On the other hand, Illinois had the largest decline in nursing home beds during this period, with a decrease of 7,194 beds. Other states that experienced a decline include Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
These changes in nursing home bed counts may be influenced by a variety of factors, including shifting patient preferences, financial pressures, and changes in government policies and regulations. It will be important to continue monitoring the data to better understand the drivers of these trends and their implications for the future of long-term care in the United States.