COVID caused occupancy levels in nursing homes to drop to 68.5%. However, recent data suggests a strong rebound. The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s data shows a steady increase. NIC MAP Data revealed that skilled nursing occupancy climbed for a second straight month in March, reaching 71.6%. That’s a notable jump after occupancy was 70.7% in January. There is always a need and strong interest in high-quality nursing homes.
Long-term care operators’ optimism may be premature. ACHA claims 143 skilled nursing facilities closed or merged with others in 2020 with 1,670 projected in 2021. Mergers, acquisitions, and consolidations happen every year in the industry. Now, industry lobbyists claim they need more funds because the industry may lose $94 billion.
However, market share statistics indicate that the industry is recovering, according to Trella Health research. Trella Health analyzes Medicare Part A and B claims data for post-acute providers, including hospice, home health, and skilled nursing.
Based on Trella’s market share data for Q3 2020, only four provider companies have top-3 rankings in more than three states: Genesis HealthCare (10 states), Life Care Centers of America (4 states), Sanford Health (4 states) and Trilogy Health Services (4 states).
The Future is Here
As the industry looks for a comprehensive, person-centered, and evidence-based approach to improving nursing home safety, consumer advocates, experts, and researchers believe that the future is private rooms. Less institutional living.
Two multi-facility licensed skilled care organizations saw an average increase in operating costs ranging from $16 to $25 per patient day and capital costs increased from $20 to $40 per patient day after transitioning single-resident rooms, according to research from Plante Moran.
Evidence suggests single-resident rooms keep patients healthier, happier and is their desired option moving forward. Nosocomial infections (infections acquired while in a facility that were not present at the time of admission) are reduced in single rooms, according to clinical studies. Additional evidence proves a decreased risk of facility-acquired infections, medication errors, resident anxiety, and incidence of aggressive behavior.