Brookdale Doubles Down on Building Hospice Portfolio

Brookdale Senior Living Inc., (NYSE: BKD) is expanding its hospice business primarily through de novo activity, including expansion into new markets.

Brookdale recently opened hospices in San Jose, Calif., and Detroit, and plans to open a Portland, Ore., location in the second quarter of this year, a company spokesperson told Hospice News. The company currently operates 20 hospice locations.

“We have a resident base that needs this service,” said Brookdale CEO Lucinda Baier, speaking at the RBC Capital Markets 2019 Healthcare Conference. “So by building an agency you are providing a needed service for residents, and you are providing a great cash flow stream that has a very low capital requirement and a very nice margin. You will continue to see us grow our hospice business.”

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. is a national senior living community operator whose health services segment provides hospice, home health care, and outpatient therapy services.The company owns and operates 844 facilities with a combined 80,000 residents, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and continuing care retirement communities.

Brookdale’s hospice business earned $21.7 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2018, up 12.4% from $19.3 million in Q1 2018. In addition to de novo activity, Brookdale’s hospices are seeing substantial increases in average daily census, the company reported in an earnings call earlier this month.

Brookdale has a leg up on de novo development because their senior living communities provide a built-in customer base.

“One of the benefits that Brookdale has that other companies do not have is we have a resident base who regularly needs hospice services,” Baier said in an earnings call earlier this month. “And so we are able to start up new hospices in a way that others can’t because we have an engine to generate new patients.”

Brookdale’s hospice business will have new leadership as of June, when Anna-Gene O’Neal, currently CEO of Alive Hospice in Nashville, will take the helm of the company’s hospice line.

“Anna-Gene has phenomenal experience, and we are thrilled that she brings her expertise and compassionate end-of-life care to Brookdale,” Baier said. “We are proud of our growth in hospice, and we believe Anna-Gene and the team will be able to accelerate our hospice growth.”

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