Minnesota-based Moments Hospice is growing rapidly in the Midwest, having opened eight de novos during 2020. The family-owned company has plans to open more locations during 2021, including moving into new markets.
Moments’ footprint grew from five locations to 13 last year in Minnesota, building up scale in Wisconsin as well as its home state and launching its first location in Iowa. Despite headwinds stemming from COVID-19, the company saw an opportunity. They made inquiries with state governments to see if applications for new licenses had dropped off during the pandemic and then worked to fill gaps.
“‘State agencies] told us that this was the deadest it had been in years,” Moments Vice President Kevin Stock told Hospice News. “We took that and said that this was an opportunity for us to plan for the future. Let’s start to open up more offices.”
Owners Shlomo Miller and Eli Jaffa founded the company in 2017. The two had been childhood friends. Miller’s family owns and operates eight assisted living locations in the Minneapolis area, and Jaffa has a background in long term care. They decided to establish a new hospice company after noticing inconsistencies in the end-of-life care the residents of their facilities received.
The last straw for Miller and Jaffa came when one of those facilities was unable to secure hospice care for a 94-year-old patient in need. They had contracts with three hospices at the time but none of those were able to send clinicians onsite until after the patient had expired several days later.
Moments was able to finance the new locations due to significant growth in their patient census last year. This was largely driven by the pandemic as they experienced an influx of COVID-positive patients. Time saved due to staff beginning to work from home helped them quickly prepare applications to license the new locations, Stock said. Moments did not furlough or lay off any staff during the pandemic.
The expansion is expected to continue through 2021. Currently the hospice is focused on opening new offices and is not considering acquisitions. This makes it easier for the company to infuse its operations with their organizational culture from their inception, according to Stock.
The company expects to open four to six new locations in Iowa within the next two years as well as three de novos in Minnesota. They also plan to make a push into Illinois and are considering entry into other states.
“We’re looking at bringing that model to other states in the Midwest, but we will go other places in the United States, as long as it makes sense,” Stock said. “If there’s a need for hospice, and we think there’s an opportunity, we’re gonna go. After we get one office in a state, we are going to keep adding more.”