Ensign Grows Again in Texas; PruittHealth Plots New Skilled Nursing Construction

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) acquired the operations of the 150-bed San Pedro Manor, a skilled nursing facility in San Antonio, Texas. The acquisition was effective February 1, and will be part of a long-term, triple-net lease.

The transaction brings Ensign’s portfolio to 232 health care operations, 24 of which also include assisted living, across thirteen states, according to the press release announcing the deal.

“This acquisition is a perfect fit with our existing facilities in Texas and we are excited for the continued growth in the San Antonio area,” Ensign CEO Barry Port said in a statement. “The ability to continue to grow in the midst of a pandemic is a true testament to our local team of clinical and operational leadership and their experience, planning and preparation. We have full confidence in our team’s ability to make this another great transition.”

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Texas has emerged as one of the most battered states in terms of SNF occupancy during the pandemic, with a recent analysis from the professional services firm CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) revealing that occupancy in the Lone Star State is at about 56%.

“We are honored to be joining the outstanding team at San Pedro Manor and are looking forward to combining our experience with the goal of providing high quality care to our patients and their families,” Kevin Niccum, president of Keystone Care LLC, Ensign’s Texas-based subsidiary, said in the press release from Ensign.

Regional Owner-Operator Buys in Louisiana

The 120-bed Carroll Nursing Home in Louisiana was purchased by a regional owner-operator based in the Southeast in a transaction that was interrupted by the pandemic, according to a press release from Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors; the firm helped facilitate the sale.

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Carroll, located in the northeast part of the state near Arkansas, was owned by a local family looking to exit the SNF industry. The facility was originally built in 1960 with expansions and renovations in 1962, 1976, and 1987. All 120 beds are dually certified for Medicare and Medicaid.

PruittHealth Plans New SNF in Florida

PruittHealth, a SNF operator based in Norcross, Ga., will be opening a SNF in the Nocatee community in Florida, the Ponte Vedra Recorder reported on January 21. The center will include 120 beds, with such amenities as a spa and cafe, according to the publication. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.

“For more than 50 years, my family has taken pride in elevating the level of care provided in communities we serve, and we’re excited to do that for those who call Nocatee home,” Neil L. Pruitt Jr., chairman and CEO of PruittHealth, told the publication. “We recognize the importance of creating a truly homelike environment that promotes well-being, and have spared no expense to achieve that with the design of the new center.”

According to the Ponte Vedra Recorder, the new SNF “largely will consist of spacious, private suites and upscale amenities.”

The presence of private rooms for SNF patients has become a particularly acute question during the COVID-19 pandemic — and Pruitt Jr., who served on the federal Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, told SNN in October last year that reimbursement systems need to create incentives for operators to develop and maintain private rooms.

Upstate NY SNF Sells Alongside Leadership Change at Management Company

The real estate of the 80-bed SNF Rosewood Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Rensselaer, N.Y., was sold to a buyer who structured the deal “subject to a leadership change at the management company operating the facility,” according to the release announcing the transaction from Blueprint, which facilitated the deal.

The facility had stable census levels — “consistently above 90%” — with about 50% quality payor mix because of the local market, Blueprint observed in the release. The operations had been improving prior to COVID-19, the firm noted.

The facility had been originally developed in the mid-1970s, and the private ownership group had conducted interior renovations, operational equipment upgrades, and technology enhancements as part of its capital investments, Blueprint noted.

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