Research - OCTOBER 10, 2016

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Nursing home occupancy levels decline

by Andrea Waitrovich

Occupancy levels at nursing homes around the country have fallen to 82.2 percent, a five-year low for the skilled nursing profession, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care and based on a data series that began in October 2011.

While occupancy usually softens in the second quarter, the decline in second quarter 2016 was more significant than in previous years, suggesting lower occupancy is being driven by factors beyond seasonality. A number of healthcare delivery and payment reform initiatives could be playing a role in the decline.

Skilled mix was the main driver of lower occupancy as Medicare patient day mix declined 107 basis points from the prior quarter to 13.5 percent. Managed care (managed Medicare) patient day mix also declined, albeit slightly, down to 5.8 percent of patient days.

The rate of decline within managed Medicare revenue per patient day slowed, suggesting the managed Medicare rate of decline may

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