By the end of 2020, NIC will have posted approximately 140 articles on this blog for the year. Posts range in style and content, offering a mix of data, analysis, commentary, and many insights drawn from NIC events, publications, surveys, and data releases. Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic, which we began to write about in March, held sway over our readers throughout the year. NIC Notes has become a reliable source of new data, insights, and forward-thinking perspective, designed to help operators, capital providers and other stakeholders, as they’ve struggled both to protect residents and adapt to a highly challenging business environment.
“The pace of move-ins continued to be sluggish in Wave 17 with more survey respondents reporting declines in occupancy rates than increases in occupancy for each of the four care segments. Fewer organizations cited stronger resident demand as a factor influencing the pace of move-ins. Comments by survey respondents added color to the key survey findings: several leaders of their organizations cited rising COVID-19 cases among residents and staff in some properties resulting in stress in containing outbreaks and maintaining staffing levels amid wage growth and hazard pay challenges. While some operators were eagerly anticipating the arrival of the vaccine, others expressed frustration with new slowdowns in the turnaround times for receiving COVID-19 lab test results.”
Two educational sessions at NIC Fall Conference address the sales challenge. As an effective vaccine for COVID-19 rolls out, seniors housing operators and owners are hopeful that sales will get a big boost in early 2021. But until then, they still face a challenging marketing landscape as the virus continues to spread amid renewed lockdowns and restrictions.
Senior living providers eagerly await FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine and are preparing the logistical plans needed to ensure a fast and efficient process to vaccinate residents. In the meantime, robust testing remains the most effective strategy for protecting residents and staff from widespread infection. To better understand current testing strategies and how they have adapted over time, I spoke with Ed Ward, Vice President of Operations, Kisco Senior Living to learn more about their innovative testing program.