Operators Bearish on Future of Standalone Skilled Nursing Facilities

Just 19% of senior housing operators think the future for standalone skilled nursing facilities looks “good” over the coming three years — while a plurality see a “poor” path ahead.

Investment banking and advisory firm Lancaster Pollard on Tuesday released the results of its expansive senior housing and care survey, which collected the opinions of executives at facilities across the United States. And the numbers were not upbeat for skilled nursing providers.

Of the 4,000 leaders who answered Lancaster Pollard’s call in December, 34% said they had a poor outlook for the economic viability of standalone SNFs over the next three years, with an additional 33% assessing the future as “fair” for the asset class. Just 19% saw a good few years ahead, while the remaining 15% said the question didn’t apply to them.


That’s a stark contrast from the outlook for stand-alone assisted living facilities — with 58% of respondents classifying the future as good — and continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), which 55% of leaders thought would have a good three years to 2021.

For-profit providers accounted for 62% of responses, but the results closely mirror a recent poll of non-profits from Chicago-based specialty investment bank Ziegler — which revealed that pressures on skilled nursing and post-acute care ranked as the third most common worry among executives for 2018.

“Licensed care is our biggest area, increasing requirements with pressure on reimbursement and workforce issues — perfect storm,” one anonymous non-profit leader told Ziegler.


Among Lancaster Pollard’s group of respondents, 39% said they had fewer than 250 skilled nursing beds, with just 4% logging more than 3,000 and a full third saying they had none at all. Top worries for the leaders included the ongoing workforce shortage, which 82% of respondents named, along with occupancy levels (51%), regulatory enforcement (42%), and Medicaid reimbursements (39%).

Check out the full set of data.

Written by Alex Spanko

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