Occupancy rates at skilled nursing facilities reach record lows

Occupancy rates at skilled nursing facilities reach record lows

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) saw a record low occupancy rate in the second quarter of 2018—81.7 percent, down from 83.1 percent last year—according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. While flu season historically increased SNF occupancy, policy changes and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) favoring of primary and home healthcare has driven people away from inpatient settings.

  • Experts suggest Medicare Advantage (MA) plans will have a significant impact on SNFs. More than 21 million seniors are enrolled in MA plans, up 8 percent from last year
  • MA plans offer more benefits than Medicare, including dental, vision and gym memberships. Their rates are likely to increase under the current administration
  • CMS also recently finalized the new payment rule for SNFs, which ties reimbursement to the complexity of patient cases rather than the volume of services provided. Some experts suggest this change may slow investment

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