St. Croix Hospice has acquired Lombard, Ill.-based Lexington Hospice Care. The company entered the Illinois market last year through a prior transaction. Financial terms were undisclosed.
St. Croix, which is backed by the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, has been on an expansion blitz for at least the past three years, with a focus on Midwestern markets.
In addition to a spate of acquisitions, the Minnesota-based hospice provider has launched three de novos thus far in 2022. This follows six new locations they opened in 2021 and seven during 2020.
Geographically, Lexington Hospice Care fits nicely into St. Croix’s Illinois footprint, according to CEO Heath Bartness.
“This group was also a great fit for us from a geographic perspective due to its proximity to our existing Illinois locations,” Bartness told Hospice News. “Lombard fits nicely between our Des Plaines and Rockford locations, which allows us to expand our patient reach to previously unserved areas.”
St. Croix entered Illinois in April 2021 with the purchase of Hospice Care of America in the city of Rockford. Last July, they completed their second acquisition in the state, a location of Silverado Hospice. The terms of these deals were confidential.
Hospice utilization in the Illinois market reached 50.3% among Medicare decedents during 2018, which was in line with the national average, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Utah led the nation that year with 60.5%.
With this acquisition, St. Croix has more than 50 offices in nine states, from which its 1,200 employees care for over 3,000 patients.
Lexington Hospice Care offers a higher level of cultural diversity to St. Croix’s Illinois operations, according to Jennifer Lemere, the company’s director of integration. A number of the hospice’s staff are bilingual with five languages represented: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian and Spanish.
The staff’s track record on quality and compliance was another draw for St. Croix.
“The staff in Lombard are an amazing and talented hospice care team known for providing high quality care with a solid compliance track record,” Bartness said. “We have admired this team’s excellent work and reputation in the community for some time.”