“SNF occupancy down despite ‘significant’ flu season and Medicaid admissions up, report shows,” by Emily Mongan, McKnight’s LTC News

“Skilled nursing occupancy rates hit their lowest level on record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a report released Wednesday. The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s Skilled Nursing Data Report shows the national occupancy rate fell from 82.6% to 81.8%, the lowest level since the organization began collecting data in 2011. Occupancy rates also experienced their largest ever year-over-year drop during the fourth quarter. . . . Medicaid remained the top source of patient volume in the fourth quarter of 2016, and continued to cover a growing percentage of total patient days, the report found. Medicaid represented 66.2% of patient days, a 1.3% increase from the fourth quarter of 2015. Medicaid revenue also increased to hit $200 revenue per patient day. . . . The percentage of patient days covered by traditional Medicare dropped to 12.9% — its lowest point in the past five years, the report showed. That’s likely due to the shift to value-based payments, growing enrollment in managed Medicare and drops in length of stay, according to Kauffman.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
So much bad news for nursing homes! Occupancy down; high Medicaid census at low rates; lower Medicare census at higher rates; and more bad reimbursement policy coming from CMS.

SNF occupancy down despite ‘significant’ flu season and Medicaid admissions up, report shows