Lucinda Baier headshot
Lucinda “Cindy” Baier

When it comes to planning for its post-pandemic future, executives at Brookdale Senior Living say that all eyes are on what happens with occupancy rates. 

Although noting that any new acquisitions probably are unlikely in the near future, Steven Swain, Brookdale’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, told attendees of the Credit Suisse 29th Annual Healthcare Conference Tuesday that as soon as occupancy begins to grow again, the operator will be looking to pick up distressed assets.

“While we are definitely a strong operator, we’ll have a lot more confidence as we’re building census,” added Lucinda “Cindy” Baier, the firm’s president and CEO. 

Baier also announced during the presentation that Brookdale this week received $67.5 million in Phase 2 Provider Relief Funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fight the coronavirus. In addition, the firm noted that in an effort to provide additional visibility for the interim period, Brookdale will begin publishing monthly occupancy reports beginning with November results.

“We expect to continue to publish that until we return to financial guidance, at which point we’ll return to our historical practice,” Baier said.

The firm also highlighted its excitement around the announcement of a potential vaccine for COVID-19 and that senior living is prioritized to receive vaccines when they become available.

“Our expectation would be that Brookdale residents and associates would get the vaccine, when available, through a partnership with CVS,” she said.

Read additional coverage of Brookdale’s third-quarter financial results and updates on how the firm has been affected by COVID-19 here.