Metrics that Matter #9: Reflections on NIC Conference (Spring 2023)
It's time for Metrics that Matter: NIC edition!
I had the opportunity to meet with owners, executives, vendors, and more at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) conference last week. Across all the conversations, a few main themes came up:
1. How do you actually put data into practice?
2. There is no standard definition of Occupancy
3. Rising labor costs are leading operators to look at every other data point from expenses to rent & care revenue
To dive a bit deeper:
1. Senior living operators are overwhelmed with data. The challenge is picking the right data for the right people, and delivering it in the right format at the right time. One of the best conversations from NIC was with a COO who wants to set up automated reports for every level (ED, RDO, VP, etc) with the 5-10 most important KPIs for the position so that the team builds a culture of looking at a shared set of metrics. This is spot-on: you need to focus your team on the right set of metrics!
2. Nearly every operator and owner I talked to has a slightly different method of calculating occupancy. It's okay to have different definitions as long as they are consistent. One challenge was that memory care is often calculated on a per-bed basis (as it's closer to SNF) vs. per-unit, so you can wind up with "half-occupied" units. We have a deeper discussion of census vs. occupancy on our website under "Resources".
3. Rising labor costs are leading operators to scrutinize every expense (often on a PRD basis) and also to look at care revenue as well as rent. Reviewing care rates is a time-intensive process that every operator already does, so the challenge is to connect this review to actual expenses (labor and other expenses) to ensure that the operator is still able to deliver quality care at a fair price.
While these are challenges, there is great opportunity and excitement around data in our industry! Check out our website to learn more.