The nursing home industry are seeing steep drops in occupancy since the start of the pandemic. Experts do not expect those numbers to rebound any time soon. Weekly occupancy data trends from the federal government’s National Healthcare Safety Network’s database revealed median occupancy rates for skilled nursing providers have fallen as low as 75% in each of the three most recently reported weeks, according to CLA.
“For facilities that lost existing occupancy due to a COVID-19 outbreak, when coupled with a reduced incoming stream of residents, skilled nursing leaders expect it may be 18 months before their occupancy can recover to pre-COVID levels,” Cory Rutledge, managing principal at CliftonLarsonAllen, told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.
“In addition, some skilled nursing facilities have experienced a significant occupancy decline due to COVID-19 infections in their building, which augments the issue,” he added. The National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care said the pandemic and falling occupancy numbers have put the industry in a “challenging state,” but added the struggles won’t continue forever and nursing home care will eventually be needed.