July 21, 2020

A report published in February 2020 entitled “Nursing Home Closures and Trends June 2015-June 2019” found that despite 555 nursing homes in the United States having closed since June 2015, and the increasing number of nursing home closures each year, nursing home occupancy rates have decreased by almost two percentage points over four years and more than a dozen nursing homes have experienced occupancy rate decreases of three percentage points or more.

As of June 2019, there were 15,527 nursing homes operating in the United States. The report found that 328 of the 555 nursing home closures in the United States from June 2015 to June 2019, have occurred since June 2017. Since 2016, there has been a consistent increase in nursing home closures in the United States.

The report found that more than half of the nursing home closures are concentrated in nine states: California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin, with each of these states experiencing at least sixteen nursing home closures during the four-year period. Texas had the most nursing home closures during the four-year period: 65. Illinois experienced 44 nursing home closures, with California and Ohio each experiencing 26 nursing home closures.

Only one state-Alaska-had no nursing home closures during the four-year period. Montana had the highest percentage of nursing home closures: 14%.

The report states: “At both the national and state levels, changes in nursing home occupancy rates may be an underlying factor as to why so many nursing homes are closing. Occupancy rates are calculated by dividing the number of certified nursing home beds by the number of those beds that are filled, or occupied, by a person receiving care. Over the last four years, occupancy has decreased despite the more than 500 closures experienced since June 2015. During that month, the national average occupancy rate was 82.3%. Through June 2016, 131 nursing homes closed. The closure of these facilities did not prevent the national average occupancy rate from decreasing. In fact, the national average occupancy rate decreased by almost a full percentage point to 81.5%. This may seem like a small number, but it represents a decrease in occupied beds of more than 16,000.”

“Despite so many nursing homes closing, the national average occupancy rate decreased by 1.9 percentage points over those four years. During that time, the number of occupied nursing home beds decreased at a rate almost triple that of decreasing certified beds. Occupied beds decreased by 43,000, while certified beds decreased by just over 15,000.”

” … more than 40% of nursing homes that closed over the four years had a 4- or 5-star overall quality rating from CMS, and a full 25% had a 5-star rating before they closed. By comparison, just under half (44%) of homes open in June 2019 had a star rating of 4 or 5. Closed nursing homes were slightly more likely to have a one- or two-star rating (41% vs. 37%), but not enough to draw conclusions explaining why these nursing homes closed.”

“Nationally, about 37% of nursing home closures since June 2015 occurred in a rural zip code. This is slightly higher than the portion of currently open nursing homes, of which 33% are in rural areas … ”

“About 67% of nursing homes that closed since June 2015 were for-profit enterprises, compared to about 70% of currently open nursing opens. Similarly, nonprofit organizations comprise about 26% of closed nursing homes and 24% of currently open nursing homes. Government-owned nursing homes comprise the remainder for each category.”


If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in the United States due to a nursing home fall, nursing home aspiration, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (nursing home claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your nursing home claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

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