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By: Bill Kauffman  |  February 03, 2022

Skilled Nursing Occupancy Flat in November 2021

Market Trends  |  NIC MAP Vision  |  Skilled Nursing

“Skilled Nursing occupancy has leveled off in the 75% range since July, according to the latest data through November 2021. This suggests the Delta variant had an impact as the labor crisis intensified, which limited the ability to accept new patient admissions.”

- Bill Kauffman

NIC MAP® data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, released its latest Skilled Nursing Monthly Report on February 3, 2022. The report includes key monthly data points from January 2012 through November 2021.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

Skilled nursing property occupancy was flat in the month of November, ending the month at 75.7% after increasing 28 basis points from September to October. Occupancy has been relatively flat since July, and is now 381 basis points above the low point reached in January 2021 (71.9%). It was expected that admissions to skilled nursing properties would increase at a faster pace in 2021, but the COVID-19 Delta variant over the summer months posed a challenge to operators as did staffing shortages across the industry. Most recently, staffing shortages have caused many operators to limit patient admissions because they are unable to hire additional caregivers. The Omicron variant is expected to cause additional pressure on occupancy in the winter months. Occupancy remains very low compared to February 2020 pre-pandemic levels of 86.0%.

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Medicare revenue mix ended November at 20.3%, which was a 23 basis point increase from October. However, it is down from its pandemic high of 24.6% set in January 2021. The revenue mix has increased 65 basis points since September, which in part is likely a result of the increase in Medicare rates to skilled nursing properties for fiscal year 2022. That increase was implemented in October. However, since January of 2021, the longer-term downward trend in Medicare revenue mix continued as fewer COVID-19 cases in properties have resulted in less need for utilizing the 3-Day rule waiver and per day reimbursement for COVID-19 positive patients.

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Managed Medicare patient day mix decreased slightly (8 basis points) from October to 7.2% in November and has oscillated in that range since June 2021. However, it is down 48 basis points from its high set in February (7.7%), which suggests lower patient admissions from managed Medicare given the increase in overall occupancy within the same timeframe. On the other hand, it has increased 214 basis points from the pandemic low of 5.1% set in May 2020 when states around the country implemented a suspension of elective surgeries, which had a direct impact on lower hospital referrals to skilled nursing properties.

Medicaid patient day mix decreased for the second month in a row, falling 51 basis points from October to end November at 66.2%. This decline, coupled with the fact that occupancy held steady in November, suggests that Medicare patient days were responsible for preventing a month-to-month decline in occupancy. However, Medicaid patient day mix has increased 245 basis points from the pandemic low of 63.7% set in January 2021. In addition, Medicaid revenue mix decreased, dropping to 50.3% from 51.6% in October.

To get more trends from the latest data, download the Skilled Nursing Monthly Report. There is no charge for this report.

The report provides aggregate data at the national level from a sampling of skilled nursing operators with multiple properties in the United States. NIC continues to grow its database of participating operators to provide data at localized levels in the future. Operators who are interested in participating can complete a participation form. NIC maintains strict confidentiality of all data it receives.

Interested in learning more about NIC MAP data? To learn more about NIC MAP data, powered by NIC MAP Vision, and about accessing the data featured in this article, schedule a meeting with a product expert today.

About Bill Kauffman

Senior Principal Bill Kauffman works with the research team in providing research and analysis in various areas including sales transactions and skilled nursing. He has lead roles in creating new and enhanced products and implementation of new processes. Prior to joining NIC he worked at Shelter Development in investing/acquiring, financing, and asset management for over $1 billion in assets. He also had key roles in the value creation and strategic planning and analysis for over 65 entities. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the College of Business and Economics at Radford University and his Master of Science in Finance from Loyola College in Maryland. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst Designation (CFA).

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