Nursing Homes Have Seen Record Low Occupancy Rates

As vaccinations for COVID-19 continue in skilled nursing facilities, the rate of infections among residents is gradually decreasing. During the month of January, the number of cases decreased from 26,860 to 9,802 among nursing home residents according to CliftonLarsonAllen(CLA) services firm. The national rates of occupancy are also stabilizing with a slight increase from the beginning of January at 68.6% to 69.2% by the end of January.

CLA is claiming that the skilled nursing industry has seen the bottom of record-low occupancy rates. However, as rates stabilize, they are expected to grow gradually. The rates of occupancy have  varied from state to state. On the contrary, some facilities have seen an increase in occupancy levels during the month of January.

States like Texas saw a minimal reduction in occupancy rates during the pandemic, whereas other states like Georgia saw a fall of almost ten percentage points. The road to recovery for each state will vary depending on how greatly they were affected by the pandemic and how well they can adjust their staffing and manage their operating expenses.

It is anticipated that the states in the Pacific Northwest region may have to struggle more than others. This includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. These states had staffing shortage rates above the national median, while their occupancy rates were below the national median. The rate of nursing and aide staffing shortages for these states was 31% compared to 19.5% for the national median.

Funding from government sources has helped nursing home operators manage the effects of these factors. However, in the long-term operators will need to adjust these factors to stabilize their revenue numbers.

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