Skilled occupancy rises slightly, while construction soars

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Average occupancy in the skilled nursing sector dipped slightly (0.2%) in the second quarter, but the rates still remained 1.8% higher than a year earlier.

Also, revenue per occupied skilled nursing bed rose to an average of $175 per resident day, up 0.9% in the quarter. That's 5.6% higher than a year earlier, according to data released Thursday by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) at its 16th annual conference in Chicago. The data, from NIC's MAP data and analysis service, reflects research on the nation's top 30 metropolitan areas.

Skilled nursing facilities under construction leaped 61% over a year earlier, a stark contrast to lesser starts in the AL and IL sectors, data showed. NIC President Robert Kramer said many new skilled nursing units were offsetting aged facilities being taken out of service. "There's never been a time where nursing homes were asking themselves more questions like 'Where are we going?' They're facing huge re-investment questions (because of their aging facilities)."

Noting "great activity and great enthusiasm" in all three property types, Kramer said occupancy rates in all types were notably higher than a year ago.