Survey of Severely Disabled Finds Significant Long-Term Care Needs

Follow-up survey to the NHIS disability supplement - analysis
    • March 1, 2003

The Georgetown University School of Medicine, Mathematica Policy Research and the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services planned, implemented and analyzed the Follow-up Survey to the National Health Interview Survey Disability Supplement (NHIS-D).

The NHIS-D in 1994 and 1995 was added as a supplement to the NHIS (an annual national survey of health status and medical service utilization conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. It was a two-phase survey designed to provide information about individuals and populations with disabilities.

Key Findings

  • Preliminary findings, which the Georgetown research team presented at the 1999 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, included the following:

    • Approximately 10.2 million non-institutionalized adults have long-term care needs.
    • Most people with long-term care needs have limited insurance coverage for long-term care services.
    • Many people with long-term care needs have limited resources with which to address these needs.
    • One in five people with long-term care needs, or 2.1 million people, report an unmet need for personal assistance with the performance of basic daily tasks of life.
    • People with unmet needs experience much higher rates of adverse consequences from a lack of help than other people with long-term care needs.
    • The unmet-need population receives fewer hours of care at every level of disability than other people with long-term care needs.