Long-term care insurance and market for aged care in Japan: focusing on the status of care service providers by locality and organisational nature based on survey results

Australas J Ageing. 2014 Sep;33(3):153-7. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12038. Epub 2013 Jun 30.


Aim: The purpose of this paper is to examine the status of care service providers by locality and organisational nature.

Method: Questionnaires were sent to 9505 home-based care service providers registered in the databases of 17 prefectures. The prefectures were selected according to population size.

Results: Numerous for-profit providers have newly entered the aged care service market and are operating selectively in Tokyo, a typical example of a metropolitan area. Furthermore, both for-profit and non-profit providers have suffered from a shortage of care workers and difficult management conditions, which tend to be more pronounced in Tokyo.

Conclusion: The market under long-term care insurance was successful in terms of the volume of services, but most providers were sceptical as to whether competition in the market could facilitate quality care services.

Keywords: health-care market; health-care providers; health-care sectors; home care service; long-term care insurance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Commerce
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • For-Profit Insurance Plans / organization & administration
  • Geriatrics / economics
  • Geriatrics / organization & administration*
  • Geriatrics / standards
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Workforce / organization & administration
  • Home Care Services / economics
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Home Care Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Insurance, Health / organization & administration*
  • Insurance, Health / standards
  • Japan
  • Long-Term Care / economics
  • Long-Term Care / organization & administration*
  • Long-Term Care / standards
  • Marketing of Health Services / economics
  • Marketing of Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Marketing of Health Services / standards
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / organization & administration
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors