Skilled Nursing Occupancy Drops to New Low in Q3

Skilled nursing occupancy reached a new low in the third quarter at 81.6%, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s (NIC) new report on skilled nursing occupancy and revenue trends.

Downward pressure on occupancy has been steady since May 2015, and the decline for this year—quarterly occupancy fell 29 basis points from the second quarter—is likely not a seasonal trend, according to NIC. On a year-over-year basis, occupancy declined by 167 basis points, for the second-largest decline for the third quarter in the past five years.

Medicaid patients represented a significant portion of nursing home residents last quarter, with a Medicaid patient day mix of 66.8% — the highest in five years. Year-over-year, Medicaid mix was up 112 basis points. Over the course of the last five years, this mix has increased 422 basis points.


Other measurements showed a rash of new lows, however.

Medicare patient day mix reached a new low of 12.2%, while Medicare revenue per patient day also reached its lowest level yet at $510, declining 2% from $521 in October 2016. Managed Medicare revenue per patient day came in at $431, for a total decline of 13.2% from five years ago.

Patient day mix for managed Medicare also declined, down from its five-year high of 6.7% in February to 6.2%. However, managed Medicare mix appears to be growing generally, since it stood at 5.1% at the beginning of 2012.


Private patient day mix matched its lowest point at 9.1%, and the lowest private patient day mixes have occurred in 10 of the past 12 months, NIC noted. At the same time, however, private revenue per patient day rose to $266, its highest amount, and each of the past 10 months has seen the highest private revenue per patient day amounts in five years. The 2.9% year-over-year increase for the third quarter was the highest in five years.

Written by Maggie Flynn

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