The cost of long-term care in U.S. nursing homes, assisted living facilities and in the home has increased for the fifth consecutive year, and the nation faces an impending shortage of direct-care workers, further driving up long-term care costs. Those are two conclusions from recent cost-of-care research study by Genworth Financial (Richmond, Virginia). The study found the price of most long-term-care services are rising faster than inflation, and by 2050 the nation's long-term care services bill is expected to top $379 billion.

In 2008, the average annual price of a private nursing home room reached $76,460 nationally, more than one-and-a-half times the average annual household income in the U.S. of $48,201. The most preferred form of care is in the home, and the cost of home care performed by a non-skilled home health aide remained flat in most regions of the country.

This year's "Cost of Care Survey" is complemented by additional research released by Genworth titled "A Workforce to Care for Our Aging," identifying an imminent shortage of caregivers as the driver of increasing long-term-care costs. By 2030, the number of Americans 65 years and older will double. The U.S. will need to recruit 200,000 new direct-care workers each year to meet future demand among our aging population.

Genworth is a financial security company.

All SeraCare facilities now ISO-certified

SeraCare Life Sciences (Milford, Massachusetts) said that the company's Gaithersburg and Frederick, Maryland, facilities have received ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certification. With these recent certifications, all SeraCare facilities are now ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certified.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international body that sets specifications and criteria for the manufacture and supply of various goods and services. Achievement of ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 13485:2003 certifications demonstrate the overall compliance of SeraCare's quality management system with ISO's international quality systems requirements and the compliance of SeraCare's quality management systems in the design and manufacture of medical devices.

"At SeraCare, we are building a best-in-class quality management organization that exceeds the industry's standards and, most importantly, our customers' expectations," said Susan Vogt, CEO. "Expanding our ISO certification to include our services operations in Maryland is a reflection of our commitment to quality, and confirms for customers that our processes are consistent and reproducible and that their products are manufactured at the highest level of global standardization. ISO certification also increases our ability to grow our international customer base, which is an important component in SeraCare's growth strategy."

SeraCare makes human and animal diagnostics and therapeutics.

Aboretum Ventures opens office

Arboretum Ventures (Ann Arbor, Michigan) said that it has opened an office at the BioEnterprise facility in Cleveland. The office will be managed by Jon Snyder, joining Arboretum as a venture partner.

Arboretum is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on investments in medical technology and healthcare services. Arboretum founder and managing director, Jan Garfinkle said, "Having a presence in Ohio will further our strategy of investment in companies that address large, growing patient populations, create less-invasive, easier-to-use medical products and services, and develop products and services that lower the overall cost of healthcare."

Baiju Shah, president/CEO of BioEnterprise, said that Arboretum's partners "have decades of experience within healthcare and entrepreneurial companies. In addition, their advisors include the past and current CEOs of two of the largest medical device companies, Medtronic and Guidant."

BioEnterprise is a business formation, recruitment and acceleration effort supporting the growth of bioscience companies.

Immunicon now on OTCBB

Immunicon (Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania) said that its common stock began quotation on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). Previously, Immunicon had received notification from Nasdaq indicating that trading in the company's common stock would be suspended and delisted from the Nasdaq Capital Market at the opening of business on April 29, unless Immunicon appealed Nasdaq's determination.

In response, Immunicon notified Nasdaq that it would not submit such a plan but would pursue quotation on the OTCBB.

Immunicon makes cell- and molecular-based diagnostic and life science research products.