New report reveals steady stats for occupancy and revenue
Learn how skilled nursing facilities performed last quarter
Despite minor decreases across the board, the latest Skilled Nursing Data Report from National Investment Center reveals overall solid performance across U.S. facilities. Comparing 2019 Q1 and Q1 data (and year-over-year trends), researchers say occupancy rates dipped just 0.5%—a natural decrease given the passing of flu season. “Occupancy has been relatively stable during the last 12 months, varying only one percentage point and staying above its low,” says analyst Bill Kauffman. General occupancy rates seemed to have reached a comfortable plateau, but a closer look at the numbers shows minor variation per region. During the second quarter, levels slightly improved in rural areas, while urban facilities saw a slim decrease.
Balanced Beds, Even Earnings
Beyond occupancy, the report indicates similarly steady numbers for Medicaid revenue. Compared to this time last year, Medicaid revenue per patient day rose $6, representing a 2.7% upturn. This makes Medicaid the ‘fastest growing’ skilled nursing payer, although low reimbursement rates remain a concern.
Likewise, Medicare Advantage plans continue to stake their claim within the SN sector. Although revenue was somewhat down (reported losses of 5.2% in rural areas and 2.3% in urban zones), experts say the falloff doesn’t mean much.
“Medicare Advantage is becoming an increasingly prominent player,” says economist Beth Mace. “The decline in Medicare Advantage revenue this quarter might be attributed to private plans bypassing skilled nursing due to its expense, declining patient length of stay, or lower reimbursement rates.”
Future data may provide more accurate insight. Until then, the NIC findings paint a fairly confident picture of the state of the industry, as stabilization is key. Consider this an excellent opportunity to maintain a (healthy) status quo