June occupancy rates for skilled nursing properties hit a new record low of 74.8% in June. But the general downturn may be stabilizing, according to a report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s NIC MAP Data Service.

In fact, June’s SNF occupancy rates were down only 0.4% from May, the first month-over-month decline in occupancy of less than 1% since the start of the pandemic. 

But uncertainties clearly remain. One concern is a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. Another is an approaching flu season. Since March, the overall SNF occupancy rate has fallen 8.5% from 83.4% and it is now down 9.9% since February, according to NIC. Urban area occupancy has declined significantly more than rural areas, dropping 9.7% since March compared with 5.4% in rural areas. 

The report also showed that managed Medicare patient day mix increased slightly from May, ending June at 5.5%. This was the first month-over-month increase since the pandemic began. It still is down approximately 1% since March, however, and down nearly 1.6% since February.

In addition, managed Medicare revenue mix seems to be stabilizing as it was flat from May to June, ending June at 7.4%. The stabilization in June suggests more insurance enrollees may be resuming elective surgeries as states ease restrictions.

This article appeared in the McKnight’s Business Daily, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News.