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Research - MAY 7, 2021

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Skilled nursing occupancy ticks upward

by Andrea Zander

Occupancy at U.S. skilled nursing facilities increased to 71.2 percent in February 2021 compared to 70.7 percent from the previous month, according to NIC MAP data prepared and released by NIC MAP Vision. This brought the occupancy rate back to its December 2020 level.

Despite the February improvement, occupancy remains 13.7 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level.

The February NIC MAP occupancy data are starting to reinforce trends from other data sources. COVID-19 case counts at skilled nursing facilities are down 98 percent since December 2020 and the launch of the long-term care vaccination program, according to NIC. In addition, more than four in five operators in senior housing and skilled nursing are reporting an increase in lead volume since the beginning of the year, according to NIC’s latest Executive Survey Insights.

“February’s NIC MAP data underscores what some skilled nursing facility operators have been saying the past few months: The

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