Analysis: Senior Housing Residents Manage 12+ Chronic Conditions

September 14, 2022

Press Release

Data highlight opportunities to integrate healthcare and housing to improve health and cut costs.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 14, 2022) – U.S. senior housing residents average more than a dozen chronic conditions, creating significant challenges for residents and driving healthcare costs, according to an analysis by NORC at the University of Chicago (NORC), funded by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). The analysis indicates a significant opportunity for senior housing operators to integrate healthcare with housing to add more value for residents.

This high prevalence of chronic conditions costs senior housing residents $3,000-$4,000 in out-of-pocket costs per year. It also drives annual healthcare spending of $20,000 per resident on average, about $4,000 above the annual spend for the average Medicare beneficiary ($16,000).

“Senior housing providers have a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of residents by partnering with healthcare providers who are incentivized to deliver good health outcomes,” said Brian Jurutka, NIC’s president and CEO. “It’s important for senior housing providers to understand how residents of their buildings interact with the healthcare ecosystem to better meet residents’ needs.”

As residents get frailer or develop more health conditions, data show their healthcare utilization increases. The analysis underscores that senior housing residents have significant acute inpatient spending. Inpatient hospital and other institutional spending accounts for 62-76% of resident healthcare spend.
The analysis also shows that approximately two-thirds of senior housing residents have a behavioral health diagnosis, including major depression. That number increases to three in four for memory care residents.

“This analysis shows that not all senior housing residents are equal when it comes to their health and that behavioral health conditions are increasingly common,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of healthcare strategy and lead researcher at NORC. “As calls for mental health support for all people living in America increases, stakeholders should consider the mental and behavioral health support that seniors in particular need.”

Researchers studied a cohort of more than 250,000 senior housing residents enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service. Read more information about the methodology and findings.


About the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care
The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), a 501(c)(3) organization, works to enable access and choice by providing data, analytics, and connections that bring together investors and providers. The organization delivers the most trusted, objective, and timely insights and implications derived from its analytics, which benefit from NIC’s affiliation with NIC MAP Vision, the leading provider of comprehensive market data for senior housing and skilled nursing properties. NIC events, which include the industry’s premiere conferences, provide sector stakeholders with opportunities to convene, network, and drive thought-leadership through high-quality educational programming. For more information, visit NIC’s website and follow NIC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About NORC at the University of Chicago
NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.