“When you are skating on thin ice with your margins, any movements in payer type can really move the needle,” said Bill Kauffman, senior principal at NIC. More than 440 rural nursing homes have closed or merged nationwide in the last decade.
Modern Healthcare: Rural Nursing Homes Face Closure As Occupancy Wanes
Rural skilled-nursing facility occupancy levels continue to decline, making them susceptible to closure or consolidation, researchers at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care said. While average occupancy levels in urban and rural areas have relatively stabilized over the past year, there is still a significant gap between the two at 83.7% and 80.4% as of the fourth quarter of 2018, NIC data show. Skilled-nursing facilities in rural and urban areas were around 87% full in 2012. (Kacik, 3/14)
In other news —
Kaiser Health News: Nursing Home Fines Drop As Trump Administration Heeds Industry Complaints
The Trump administration’s decision to alter the way it punishes nursing homes has resulted in lower fines against many facilities found to have endangered or injured residents. The average fine dropped to $28,405 under the current administration, down from $41,260 in 2016, President Barack Obama’s final year in office, federal records show. The decrease in fines is one of the starkest examples of how the Trump administration is rolling back Obama’s aggressive regulation of health care services in response to industry prodding. (Rau, 3/15)
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