Charter Health Group Acquires Hospices in Nevada and Arizona

Charter Health Care Group, a portfolio company of the private equity firm Pharos Capital Group, has purchased St. Luke’s Home Hospice in Las Vegas and Phoenix-based Arizona Select Hospice for an undisclosed sum. Both of those providers were part of the VeraCare Hospice system.

California-based Charter provides a range of post-acute care services that include hospice, home health, complex care management and palliative care services. Pharos first invested in Charter in Oct. 2018. The company serves an average census of 3,000 patients in six counties. These transactions mark their entry into the Arizona and Nevada markets.

“End-of-life and home health services are increasingly important to patient care across the country, and we are excited to be expanding our post-acute care platform into new geographic areas,” said Bob Crants, founding partner and chief investment officer of Pharos. “With its focus on ensuring a comfortable patient experience while lowering the costs of care, Charter has created a strong presence in southern California and is now ready to build out its service line in additional markets.”

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The Arizona market is becoming increasingly important to hospice companies due to the state’s evolving demographics. Currently, 17.5% of the state’s nearly 7.2 million residents are age 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2050 that number is expected to rise to 21%, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

Between 2010 and 2015 ADHS anticipates that the number of Medicare-age residents in the state will increase 174% and that the number of seniors older than 85 will quadruple from 2010 levels. Nearly 65% of Medicare beneficiaries who died in hospice nationwide during 2017 were 80 or older.

Hospice utilization also runs high in the state. In 2017, Arizona had the second-highest number of Medicare decedents who died in hospice at 59.2%, behind only Utah at 59.4%, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Hospice utilization in Nevada hovered around 47.1% in 2017, according to NHPCO. As of July 2019, 15.7% of the state’s 3.1 million residents were older than 65, and the U.S. Census Bureau anticipates that the number of seniors in the state will rise by 89% as of 2030.

“We are pleased to add St. Luke’s and Arizona Select to our portfolio. They are premier hospice care providers that share our mission of leading the industry toward better transitional solutions for patients, families, and caregivers,” Steve J. Larkin, Charter’s CEO, said. “We are proud of our strong record of mitigating hospital readmissions, reducing the duration of acute care stays, and providing appropriate care levels, and we look forward to growing, both organically and through partnerships with top companies where we can add complementary services.”

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