Hospice Drives Brookdale’s Health Care Segment Growth

Hospice business is the engine behind Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) health care services segment revenues in the third quarter. The segment’s earnings rose 3% in Q3 despite a 1% dip in home health revenue due to high salesforce turnover and customer service issues. 

The company has worked to expand its hospice operations this year, including through de novo activity. Brookdale in October opened a new location in Sacramento, Calif., the company’s third de novo of 2019, with previous agencies opening in Detroit and Portland, Ore. The company operates 22 hospice locations nationwide.

Further expansion of hospice operations is very much in the cards for Brookdale according to company executives.

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“I’m extremely pleased with the strong momentum of our hospice business. While a smaller part of our health care services segment, it has a long runway of growth,” Lucinda Baier, CEO of Brookdale Senior Living, said in an earnings conference call. “We’ve opened three new agencies this year and now operate 22 locations across the [United States]. We see significant opportunities to continue expanding and other major markets.”

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.

Patients do not have to be residents of Brookdale’s senior living facilities in order to receive hospice care.

Brookdale’s hospice operations earned nearly $25.3 million during Q3, up from $20.5 million in the third quarter of 2018, and close to $23.2 million in the second quarter of this year.

The company’s de novo activity has raised its hospice segment’s average daily census to 1,600, up from 1,400 as of July 2018. Average daily census for Brookdale’s hospice operations has risen steadily for the past year. Their patient census rose 15.2% between second quarter 2018 and second quarter 2019. The company’s hospice census continued to rise during the third quarter.

“Health care services revenue improved 3.2% year-over-year, the increase was driven by a strong performance of our hospice business, which posted double-digit increases for both revenue and average daily census year-over-year,” said Steve Swain, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Brookdale, in the earnings call.

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