The preliminary 2016 third-quarter data is in, and it shows that transaction volume continues to slow down in 2016. Public buyers, mainly the public REITs, have led the slowdown, as cost of capital increased, and the number of transactions that suit their strategies declined. But on the private side, buyers continued to stay relatively active in the third quarter.
Last week, NIC MAP® Data Service clients attended a webinar on the seniors housing market trends during the third quarter of 2016. Five key takeaways emerged:
Trend #1: Occupancy Stayed Stable
The third-quarter seniors housing occupancy equaled its three-year average rate of 89.8%. Occupancy has fluctuated close to this rate since 2013, with a cyclical low of 86.9% during the first quarter of 2010 and the cyclical high of 90.3% in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Panelists Discuss Post-Acute Strategies at NIC Fall Conference
With so much uncertainty about the changing health care payment and delivery system, can operators create new successful business strategies that attract investment, or is that just a dream on the far side of the rainbow?
It’s a question that panelists discussed during the session titled, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Where Winning Post-Acute Strategies Attract Investors,” at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference, September 14–16, in Washington, DC. This session brought together CEOs from publicly-traded post-acute care and seniors housing companies to discuss both challenges and opportunities in post-acute care.
More than six years into expansion, the labor market continued to add jobs in September. The Labor Department reported on Friday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 156,000 positions in September. Hiring has now averaged 178,000 new positions per month over the past nine months. However, the September gain was less than the 175,000 positions consensus projection and was down from an upward revised gain of 167,000 in August (originally reported as 151,000). The year-to-date average was also down from average monthly gains of 229,000 in 2015.
If you serve, plan to serve, or invest in skilled nursing properties that serve Medicare and Medicaid recipients, this is a good blog post to pay attention to.
On September 24, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) released a final rule that increases regulations on nursing homes that care for Medicare and Medicaid residents, as the vast majority of skilled nursing providers do. One of the regulations—the “headline” for many in the media—is the prohibition of arbitration clauses in new resident contracts.
Here’s what you need to know about CMS’ new regulations, particularly the ruling on arbitration agreements.
In July 2015, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman, introduced a measure called the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015. Since that time, the bill has been under committee consideration, but just over a year later, the buzz around Washington indicates that the bill may come out of committee for a vote. The current text of the bill is relatively brief and introduces three policies to govern post-acute care providers that treat Medicare patients, including home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and hospice agencies.
Two of the three measures contained within the bill are housekeeping measures. The first repeals the market basket cut for post-acute care providers mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which was designed to offset the cost of other provisions of the act. The Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015 would eliminate that reduction to pave the way for a value-based purchasing program that imposes its own reduction in Medicare reimbursement. The other housekeeping measure would institute a "sunset date" for the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program in 2026. The program begins in 2019 and pays skilled nursing providers based on their performance on key measures, such as rehospitalizations.
The Honorable Mike Leavitt Shares His Insights at 2016 NIC Fall Conference
After being sworn in as Health and Human Services Secretary under President George W. Bush, three-time Utah Governor Mike Leavitt was taken to an undisclosed location by “very serious men in black cars” to learn his duties of being in the line of succession to the presidency. One of those duties was attending periodic intelligence briefings for situational awareness of what was happening in the world.
“I began to learn about the vital role that intelligence gathering plays,” said Leavitt in his keynote at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference in Washington, DC, last week. By making sense of “weak signals” from different sources in different ways, “it would give us the opportunity to anticipate.”
On September 15, at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference, NIC released its 2Q2016 Skilled Nursing Data Report. The report includes key occupancy and revenue metrics from October 2011 through June 2016. In today’s blog post, I’ll walk you through the data.
Occupancy Declined to a Five-Year Low
After bouncing back in the first quarter of 2016, occupancy declined 123 basis points quarter-over-quarter to 82.2% as of June 2016, which is the lowest occupancy recorded in the data series. While occupancy usually softens in the second quarter, this year the second-quarter decline was more significant than in previous years, suggesting that lower occupancy is being driven by factors beyond seasonality.
Jerry Doctrow Previews Session with Public Operator CEOs
As featured in the August NIC Insider Newsletter
Post-acute care is an industry in flux. While it takes in $59 billion each year in Medicare payments alone, payments are declining, and providers in the space are feeling pressure on their operating profits.
“It’s a big business,” said Jerry Doctrow, principal at Robust Retirement®, LLC, “but it’s struggling.”
The post-acute care strategies four leading public operators are employing will be discussed at “Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Where Winning Post-Acute Strategies Attract Investors,” a session Doctrow will moderate at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference next month. It’s a session, he said, that post-acute and traditional private-pay seniors housing providers alike should not miss.
The Honorable Mike Leavitt to Speak about a Rapidly Changing Industry
Former Utah Governor, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, current founder and chairman of Leavitt Partners . . . There’s no doubt that Mike Leavitt has an impressive history. But it’s not just his resume that makes his perspective on seniors housing and care unique and exciting. Leavitt’s career is chock-full of examples when he embodied the spirit of the industry, creating his own path through innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.