Thoughts On The Fall NIC Conference

Industry leaders convened last week in Washington, D.C. for the annual Fall NIC Conference, and while conversations were lively and some people were even jovial, something had definitely changed since the Spring Conference. One person said it was the second most somber NIC he had been to, after 1999. We would not say it was somber, but let’s just say we did not hear of many deals getting done. We would, however, like to set the record straight from one of the sessions on the first day, when a respected panelist stated that transaction volume was down 40% this year. Not even close to being accurate. Is transaction volume slowing? Of course. But if nothing closed for the rest of the year,... Read More »

Brookdale Continues to Roll, But Maybe not Rock

Brookdale Senior Living just announced its August occupancy results, and it continues to rollon with the increases, but not quite rockin’. The third quarter for the industry has always, and wemean always, been the one quarter with decent occupancy gains year after year, so if Brookdaledid not post gains for the first two months, we would be concerned. The provider posted its seventh straight month of an increase in month-ending occupancy.August ended at 77.9%, up 80 basis points from the end of July, which itself was 50 basis pointshigher than the end of June. This is not too shabby, but the absolute levels are still way too lowfor a solid financial recovery. Month-end occupancy year over... Read More »

Will They Never Learn?

First it was the Class Act, that part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was, in actuality, a Ponzi scheme where “long-term care” premiums were going to be used to fund other aspects of the ACA, but they did not come clean on this little fact. The money was never going to be there when it would be needed. It was eventually removed a few years after the ACA was passed when even the Democrats pushing through the ACA admitted the Class Act was not going to work as originally touted. Then came the WA Cares Fund in 2019, with its payroll tax of 58 cents on every $100 earned. It doesn’t sound like too much, but the benefits were not too much either, if any funds were there when you needed... Read More »

Sonida Senior Living Announces Earnings

We are truly glad to see that Sonida Senior Living (formerly Capital Senior Living) is seeing improvements in census, contract labor use, rates and revenues. We are sure outgoing CEO Kim Lody wanted to leave with some upbeat news. Census (84% at quarter end) is now just 50 basis points below the pre-pandemic level. But as we have repeatedly said, pre-pandemic was not so good for the industry. We really have to look at three to four years before the pandemic as a goal. Several quarters ago we found a “typo” in the quarterly earnings release, which made the financial performance look better. After our reporting, they then issued a corrected release. In this second quarter 2022 earnings... Read More »
60 Seconds with Steve Monroe: Do We Really Have To Worry About A Recession?

60 Seconds with Steve Monroe: Do We Really Have To Worry About A Recession?

We just can’t seem to get a break. Just as we are coming out of the pandemic morass with some decent census increases since March of 2021, now we have to worry about a looming recession and stagflation.  Many people in the sector have only seen a growing economy in the past decade and inflation rates hovering between zero and 2%. Stagnation? Never heard of it, well, not for a few decades at least.  As a result, we thought we would take a look at what happened to the senior care sector in the last major recession in 2008-2009, as well as the mini-recession in 2020, and see what exactly happened in our sector and what might happen this time around.  What we concluded is that... Read More »
When Small Is Better

When Small Is Better

It is difficult to be nimble when you are large, and with so many headwinds, let’s take a look at Bloom Senior Living, a small operator in the Midwest and Southeast, and how it is faring. At the height of the pandemic, as in March 2021, when everyone was suffering from their lowest occupancy levels, Bloom was no exception when it dipped to 66.7%. The difference is in what happened in the next 15 months. By August 2021, census had increased by 830 basis points at its five communities and jumped another 500 basis points by the end of the year. As of May 1, 2022, census stood at 85%, a more than 1800-basis point increase since the bottom of the market. We have not seen that kind of... Read More »