February 15, 2024 | Net Health

3 Minute Read

New Skilled Nursing News Outlook Report Shows Operators Have Optimism for Occupancy Growth Even in the Face of Staffing Woes

Press Release

Results highlight the keys to growth and staffing in today’s post-acute care landscape. 

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15, 2024 — Net Health, a trusted source for specialized software solutions that empower restorative care providers, today announced the results of the 2024 Skilled Nursing Outlook Survey, identifying the top challenges and opportunities for post-acute care providers in the year ahead. Asked about the hiring environment in the year ahead, respondents noted that staffing will continue to be the industry’s top challenge, not recovering until at least 2025. 

However, those concerns seem to be tempered by an increased optimism for the industry’s short- and long-term prospects, with respondents predicting occupancy rate growth and new technology advantages. 

Skilled Nursing News, a WTWH Media publication, conducted the survey in partnership with Net Health. The objective of the survey is to learn how providers are steering the industry to pre-COVID occupancy levels in a post-COVID world. 

The results show the views of 123 post-acute care providers in a variety of leadership roles and organizations, painting a bold picture of the industry-wide sentiment in 2024 and beyond. 

“The year 2024 will pose a challenging landscape for skilled nursing professionals, yet optimism is increasing and providers are eager to drive growth,” said Skilled Nursing News Editor Zahida Siddiqi.  

Janine Savage, Division President, PointRight, Net Health, also shared her thoughts on the 2024 Outlook Survey: 

“Since the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen major shifts in care delivery and provider sentiment across the healthcare industry, and post-acute care providers are absolutely feeling the strain – especially when it comes to staffing shortages,” said Savage. “As occupancy levels begin to rise again, these providers will need solutions that can help them best serve patients even when they are staffing-challenged, and it’s clear from the results of the survey that this is a major area of focus.” 

In summary, respondents indicated: 

  • Staffing remains the greatest challenge for care providers in 2024. Staffing will be a significant hurdle in the year ahead, as 67% of survey participants believe the hiring environment will not improve until beyond 2024. 
  • Despite challenges, occupancy is on the rise. Whether skilled nursing, post-acute rehab, or long-term care, respondents believe that occupancy rates will increase over the next 12 months. 
  • Technology tools will continue to rise in importance and implementation. From predictive analytics to enhanced EHR, providers are leveraging technology as a means to prepare for the future of skilled nursing. However, respondents noted that cost will limit their ability to do so. 

“In addition to combatting post-pandemic challenges, the evolution of value-based care and its increasing importance across healthcare is also a major area of concern – and opportunity,” said Savage. “While 39 percent of respondents reported that value-based care had a somewhat negative or negative impact on their organization’s revenue in 2023, value-based care isn’t going away, so providers need to learn to embrace it. Technology is a major factor in this process, as effective data and analytics capabilities will be crucial for organizations’ success.” 

The survey was conducted online between November 20 to December 18, 2023. Watch the readout of key findings here.  

About Net Health 

Net Health’s mission is to harness data for human health. We are a trusted source for more than 23,000 healthcare organizations across the continuum of care, and our specialized software solutions enable caregivers and their organizations to improve both patient outcomes and financial performance. Over 20 years of expertise in wound care and rehab therapy informs our electronic health record (EHR) software, patient engagement tools, and predictive analytics. Our technology platforms help administrators manage workflow, specialists engage with patients, and executives drive business growth. Net Health is a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, Level Equity, and Silversmith Capital Partners. To learn more, visit nethealth.com. 

About WTWH Media and Skilled Nursing 

WTWH Media is an award-winning, digital-first B2B media and marketing company that connects brand marketers with targeted, hard-to-reach audiences of executives and practitioners. The company serves three core industry verticals including Engineering, Healthcare and Life Sciences, and Foodservice, Retail, and Hospitality. Skilled Nursing News is the leading source for news and information covering the skilled nursing and post-acute care industries. For more information on WTWH Media, please visit wtwhmedia.com. 

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