The National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care has issued its Skilled Nursing Data Report. This report reveals that during the last quarter of 2016, skilled nursing occupancy rates on the national level hit the lowest level on record, or 81.8%, down from 82.6% in the prior quarter. The organization has collected this information since 2011. This statistic is also the largest year-over-year decrease in the fourth quarter.
This decline in SNF occupancy came amid an early and significant flu season. A trend of flu or another major illness typically results in higher admissions to skilled nursing facilities. This trend likely helped increase the rate of skilled mix, which is the share of patient days paid for by traditional and managed Medicare. Medicaid was still the primary source of patient volume in the fourth quarter of 2016, representing 66.2% of the total patient days, which was a 1.3% increase over the fourth quarter of 2015. Medicaid revenue measured at $200 revenue per patient day. Furthermore, the percentage of patient days covered by traditional Medicare dropped to 12.9%, due to shifts in the Medicare program to managed care and shorter hospital stays.
Given this reliance on Medicaid as the largest source of funding for frail seniors in nursing homes, experts are concerned about the future as the Medicaid program is poised to undergo major changes under the new administration. Medicare also could face significant changes that might impact funding for skilled nursing care.
At Boller & Vaughan, our community-based residential facility abuse and neglect lawyers want to help protect those who can protect themselves the least. This is why we focus our efforts on protecting those who have fallen victim to abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We are skilled at investigating your case and assessing your situation in order to decide whether you have any potential legal claims against the facility that took the neglectful and abusive actions against your loved one. Don’t hesitate to contact Boller & Vaughan right away and find out how our legal skills can help your family through this difficult situation.