National nursing home occupancy is below 70%, not above 72% as is popularly touted, Zimmet Healthcare Services Group President and CEO Marc Zimmet told McKnight’s earlier this week. The hangup comes because some facilities have voluntarily taken beds, wings or floors offline and wrongly not reported them as part of available possible capacity.
Zimmet doubled down Thursday on his projection that at least 55,000 beds have been taken out of service since the pandemic started, a number numerous others have characterized as likely too high.
“If anything, my number is understated,” he told McKnight’s. “55,000 mothballed beds comes out to 3.7 beds per facility. That’s a no-brainer. The question is the progression — how many more are taken offline each month. If I had to guess, the number of inactive beds exceeds 100,000. It is anecdotal but unassailable that total SNF usable inventory is at least 50,000 beds below the certified total.”