North Shore Healthcare Assumes Management of Fortis SNFs Amid Receivership

After filing for receivership in July, the Milwaukee-based Fortis Management Group will transfer 25 of its long-term care facilities — including 21 skilled nursing properties — in Wisconsin to North Shore Healthcare by October.

Based in Glendale, Wis., North Shore Health Care provides a range of skilled nursing services, including Alzheimer’s care and rehabilitation services. Its current footprint totals 21 facilities across Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

The Milwaukee Business Journal first reported the transfer.

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The acquisition presented a “significant opportunity” for North Shore to develop its reach within Wisconsin, according to David Mills, managing partner at North Shore.

“This opportunity was something that we took very seriously. We saw a significant opportunity to really create a large presence and a footprint in Wisconsin where we really feel like we have a significant opportunity both with partnering with other providers,” Mills told Skilled Nursing News.

Upon the successful transition, North Shore will be the operating company of all 25 facilities; the breakdown includes 21 SNFs and four assisted living communities, Mills explained.

The company is currently in the middle of ironing out its transition plans.

“We’re right in the middle of those very discussions [and] we believe that effective communication is really critical throughout this transition period,” said Mills.

The fate of Fortis

Fortis Management Group’s portfolio of 65 senior facilities include 60 skilled nursing and five assisted and independent living communities across Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

Attorney Michael S. Polsky, of the Milwaukee law firm Beck, Chaet, Bamberger & Polsky, S.C., was appointed receiver of Fortis Management Group during the transfer of the facilities’ management to new operators.

In a proposal filed by Polsky in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in July, the Kentucky- and Florida-based Prestige Care will take over 12 facilities in Michigan; the Illinois-based Villa Health Care will assume operation of eight facilities in Minnesota; and the California-based PNW will manage 16 facilities spread across Washington, Oregon and Idaho, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.

Following the transition of approximately 36 of the 65 facilities to new operators, a number of employees at Fortis’ Milwaukee headquarters will be laid off, according to a notice filed by Polsky to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in August.

Further, upon transition of all 65 facilities to new operators, Fortis will cease its operations; approximately 225 Fortis employees were employed at the Milwaukee office at the time of the notice.

“While an exact date has not yet been established for the transition of all 65 facilities to new operators and the completion of related transition and wind-down activities … it is anticipated that the closure of [Fortis’] Milwaukee Office in its entirety will take place prior to September 30, 2018,”  Polsky said in his notice.

Written by Carlo Calma

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