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Nursing home closings hit some communities hard

Chicago Tribune, January 11, 2011

Nursing homes are shutting down across the country — but not in a uniform pattern that spreads the burden evenly across all sectors of society, according to a new report. Researchers from Brown University in Providence, R.I., and Drexel University in Philadelphia examined government data on nursing home closures in the U.S. between 1999 and 2008. During that decade, 2,902 nursing homes went out of business, eliminating 184,264 beds. Though new facilities made 87,362 additional beds available in that period, the net loss of 96,902 amounted to a 5% reduction in total supply. The closure rate was highest in the South, with 18% of nursing homes shutting down during that period. The West came in a close second, losing 17% of its nursing homes.

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