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United States Post-Acute Market Review 2021: Senior Housing Merger and Acquisition Deals Drop To 7-Year Low

December 30, 2021

ResearchandMarkets.com’s new “U.S. Post-Acute Market Report 2021” found that  post-acute facilities were hit hard by COVID-19. Occupancy declines, revenue losses, death of residents, and additional personal protective equipment costs all had significant impacts on the market. COVID-19 vaccinations for residents sparked a turnaround as cases and deaths declined and occupancy increased.

The 2021 Post-Acute Market Report summarizes the significant challenges faced by post-acute facilities during the pandemic, analyzes current trends, and discusses the path to recovery over the next several years.

Key points include:

  • Skilled nursing facilities are estimated to lose $94 billion over the two-year period 2020-2021.
  • Nursing homes account for 32% of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths.
  • 44% of post-acute organizations see occupancy returning to pre-pandemic levels in 2022

Market At-A-Glance

Prior to COVID-19, the post-acute market was valued at $375 billion. However, long-term care facilities accounted for nearly one-third of all COVID-19 deaths, occupancy fell, and life-expectancy saw year-over-year declines all impacting future market value projections.

COVID-19 was difficult for the post-acute market; estimates show skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) losing $94 billion through 2021. Reasons include lost referrals, lower occupancy, increased staffing needs, and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. In 2020, the assisted living market value dropped 12% from 2019 to $21.5 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that long-term care providers received $21 billion from the federal government to aid with the losses.

All Post-Acute Market Segments See Occupancies Plummet During Pandemic

The pandemic caused occupancy declines in all post-acute segments, but hit nursing homes the hardest. Skilled nursing facility occupancy fell to a low of 71.2% in January 2021, down from 85% in February 2020. Reasons for the declines included COVID-19 deaths, fewer hospital referrals, and families removing loved ones from nursing homes. In March 2021, after vaccines became available, SNF operators began reporting occupancy increases.

Assisted living facilities experienced the second-highest post-acute occupancy declines behind nursing homes during COVID-19, losing 6.1 percentage points since the beginning of the pandemic. The death rate among assisted living residents with COVID-19 was 21%, well above the general population’s rate of 3%.

SNF Staff Shortages Worsen During COVID-19

COVID-19 worsened already prevalent workforce shortages as staff became sick, tested positive or quit to take care of family. To help offset the shortages 68% of SNFs hired additional staff, 94% asked staff to work overtime, and 86% paid bonuses to staff.

Senior Housing Merger And Acquisition Deals Drop To Seven Year Low

In 2020, 352 senior housing acquisitions were publicly announced worth a cumulative $7.9 billion, a more than 50% decline from $16.9 billion in 2019. Average prices for assisted living decreased 30% year-over-year and average prices for skilled nursing facilities declined 14%.

Key Topics Covered in the report include:

  • Post-Acute Overview
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities Account For Over One Million COVID-19 Cases
  • Nearly 90% Of Post-Acute Residents Are Vaccinated Against COVID-19
  • Over One-Third Of Long-Term Care Workers Hesitant To Get COVID-19 Vaccine
  • SNFs Lose Estimated $94 Billion During Pandemic
  • SNF Occupancy Levels Plummet During Pandemic
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Cases Fall Sharply After Vaccines
  • Over Half Of Post-Acute Facilities Were Testing Staff Weekly In March 2021
  • Supply Of PPE At Nursing Homes Increasing
  • Life Expectancy Declines Amid The Pandemic
  • Occupancy And Staffing Top Challenges For SNFs
  • PDPM Increases Reimbursement For SNFs
  • Staffing Shortages At SNFs Worsen During Pandemic
  • Medicaid’s Contribution To SNF Payer Mix Decreases
  • SNF Medicare Spending Declined In 2019
  • Over Half Of Nursing Facilities Invest In Technology During The Pandemic
  • Post-Acute Market Declines While Home Care Spending Increases
  • Senior Housing Merger And Acquisition Deals Drop To 7-Year Low
  • Medicare Spending On Inpatient Rehabilitation Increases 8% In 2019
  • Number Of LTAC Cases And Facilities Continue To Decline
  • CCRC Occupancy Outperforms Non-CCRCs During Pandemic
  • Assisted Living Occupancy Falls Sharply While Cost Increases
  • Memory Care Occupancy At Its Lowest Due To COVID-19
  • Clarivate Lists Top Post-Acute Care Products Sold Through Distribution

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