In Massachusetts, rest homes provide cost effective care for eldery residents in a community setting.

Rest homes, however, are not well-understood and the rest home industry itself suffers greatly, not only from a lack of understanding of the services they provide,but also from the strain on their financial resources due to both competition from other healthcare options and insufficient reimbursement rates for residents’ care.

The paper explores the financial challenges facing the industry and outlines the data that speaks to the value of the rest home care option for both the residents themselves and Massachusetts state healthcare budget. It compares rest homes with other institutions, including assisted living and nursing homes, and demonstrates the financial advantages of rest homes for certain segments of the elderly population. It also outlines the Massachusetts state government role in funding rest homes, and underscores the importance that advocacy plays in the industry’s survival. The paper highlights the issues of rate adequacy, the human impact of closures on elderly residents and provides a view of the possible road ahead for this challenged industry. In conclusion, it demonstrates the value of rest homes on the Massachusetts healthcare continuum in medical, financial and social terms.