The costs of urinary incontinence in nursing homes

Joseph G. Ouslander, Robert L. Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

A simple model was used to calculate the contribution of urinary incontinence (UI) to the costs of nursing home care. First-order costs are defined as the costs of managing UI: Supplies, laundry, and labor. Second-order costs are defined as the costs of managing the complications of UI. Data were gathered from nursing homes, medical supply companies, and a large laundry company. First-order costs of four common methods of managing UI range between $3.00 and $11.00 per incontinent patient per day. Based on these estimates, UI accounts for between $0.5 and $1.5 billion (3-8%) of the costs of nursing home care. Management of UI with indwelling catheters results in the lowest first- order costs, but the second-order costs (as well as the potential increased morbidity and mortality risks) probably outweigh any cost savings. More active evaluation and treatment of UI in nursing homes could result in considerable cost savings and improved well-being for both patients and caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalMedical care
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1984

Keywords

  • Costs of nursing home care
  • Elderly
  • Incontinence
  • Long-term care
  • Nursing homes

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