Minnesota-based St. Croix Hospice has grown its footprint in its home state with a new location in Grand Rapids. St. Croix is a portfolio company of the Chicago-based private equity firm Vistria Group.
St. Croix has been well positioned for growth, opening five de novos in Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota during the past 12 months.
In August of last year, the company also acquired Brookfield, Wis.-based Hometown Hospice & Homecare for an undisclosed sum. Hometown consists of three hospice and home health operations in eastern Wisconsin. The Hometown transaction also marked St. Croix’s entry to the home health care market.
“We’ve been serving the communities around Grand Rapids, in Brainerd, and opening this new location was a natural fit from an organic growth perspective,” Andrew Mayo, M.D., chief medical officer for St. Croix, told Hospice News. “We were also really asked by the community to extend our services into that area, and that’s traditionally what we’ve done. We’re very adept at serving rural communities where hospice is sometimes lacking, and we’re able to make that work through our model.”
Demographic tailwinds in Minnesota are supporting St. Croix’s growth in that state and the surrounding region. The Grand Rapids site is St. Croix’s ninth Minnesota location and 31st location overall. The hospice serves more than 75% of Minnesota counties.
Seniors aged 65 and older comprise 15% of the Minnesota population, according to the research group Minnesota Compass. That totals nearly 806,00 individuals, a number expected to rise above 1.3 million by 2040.
The state ranks 12th in the nation in hospice utilization with 52.7% of its Medicare decedents electing hospice, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Utah leads the nation in utilization with 59.4%.
St. Croix expects to stay on its growth trajectory in the new year.
“We will continue to grow throughout 2020. We believe in what we do, and we want to make those services available to as many people as we can,” Mayo said. “We typically grow organically, and we’re very concentrated on growing and increasing our presence in the Midwest.”