Skilled Nursing Occupancy Stabilized in Q4 2018, Says NIC

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Occupancy at skilled nursing facilities in the United States held steady at 82.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, virtually unchanged from the previous quarter and down less than half of one percentage point (0.4 percent) from the previous year. 

The data released by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) suggest that occupancy nationwide could be stabilizing after four years of decline. NIC, an Annapolis-based, nonprofit data firm serving the seniors housing industry, gathered the number from 1,432 facilities in 47 states.

“While it appears that the worst of declining occupancy has passed, it’s too early to predict whether occupancy will increase over time,” says Bill Kauffman, senior principal at NIC. “However, it’s likely that the growth of elders in their 80s, as part of the Silent Generation, will boost demand for skilled nursing care.”

Occupancy increased to 83.7 percent in urban areas and declined to 80.4 percent in rural areas, according to the NIC data.

Skilled nursing occupancy has been on a years-long decline as changes to the government reimbursement structure have encouraged shorter stays and faster returns to home or assisted living communities. Occupancy was at nearly 88 percent just five years ago, compared to holding consistently below 83 percent for all of 2018.

To view the full NIC report, click here