In the past few years, we’ve been discussing the impact of changes in the healthcare system on the skilled nursing market. It seems others have too. Since last year, NIC, Ziegler and Senior Housing News have released excellent reports about the fate of skilled nursing beds, particularly those that are stand alone. As a result of declining occupancy and revenue across the country (NIC Skilled Nursing Data Report/Ziegler Post-Acute Activity CFO Hotline), the number of skilled beds is being reduced and some facilities are closing. At the same time, skilled nursing services are being provided at other levels of care, where possible, such as assisted living. Rehab discharges from hospital to home are bypassing skilled nursing facilities altogether.
Some skilled nursing providers are fighting back by investing in technology to improve the quality and efficacy of care; partnering with hospitals to improve referrals; and adding ancillary services (such as therapies, home healthcare and hospice) to spread financial risk. The renovation and redesign of nursing facilities is also occurring, particularly in CCRCs, now thriving according to Senior Housing News (CCRCs Gain Luster as Standalone SNFs Fade). Flexible architectural design will decrease costs as the need for nursing beds changes and the development of households will increase nursing facility attractiveness. CCRCs are at an advantage today due to a renewed emphasis on a continuum of care. Their residents will benefit from the services connected with skilled nursing such as physical therapy and nursing oversight even when residing in independent or assisted living.
At Brecht we are excited about the future for our CCRC clients. As new ways to configure assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and hospice are created, Boomers will be drawn to campuses that provide quality aging services in non-traditional ways.