SNF occupancy to bottom out?

Share this content:

If current trends continue, occupancy rates in skilled nursing facilities could be headed to new lows this year, said analysts from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Occupancy ticked up slightly to 82.6% at the end of the first quarter due to expected seasonal factors, including a relatively intense flu season, according to NIC's latest data, which was released in early June. But the rate dropped slightly in March.

If year-over-year decreases continue, “a new low will be expected later in 2017,” NIC report authors wrote.

Average occupancy over the last year was 82.9%, compared to 84.3% for the prior 12 months and 85.7% for the year before that.

Meanwhile, managed Medicare patient day mix in February reached its highest point in NIC's data series. 

It's a statistic that backs up earlier analysis “suggesting a trend away from what had been a rapid decline in the managed Medicare [revenue per patient day],” said NIC Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace.