The average price paid for a skilled nursing facility bed reached a record $73,300 in 2013, according to a recently released annual report published by Irving Levin Associates.

The price-per-bed number increased 21% from 2012, the report states. Irving Levin analysts were “surprised by the significant jump,” said Stephen M. Monroe, editor of the 19th edition of the “Senior Care Acquisition Report.”

However, the numbers reflect census changes to include more high-acuity patients paying through Medicare or a managed care program. The latter group brings in a higher price per bed than those on standard Medicaid, according to Monroe.

Assisted living demand remained strong in 2013, but the presence of “small and older communities” in the market helped account for a slight decrease in average price per unit, to $150,600, Monroe explained.

Overall, it was a record year for merger and acquisition activity, with 225 deals, according to the report. Transaction volume is expected to be similar or even higher this year.

One of the first 2014 benchmark reports on the industry — first quarter figures from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry — is expected to be released today.