Five hospice providers made Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States.
The providers tapped by Inc. span the nation. They include Texas-headquartered Traditions Health, Bridge Home Health & Hospice and Healthflex Home Health & Hospice, both in California. Philadelphia-based All-American Home Care and Innovative Homecare Solutions in Illinois also appeared on the list.
“The accomplishment of building one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, in light of recent economic roadblocks, cannot be overstated,” Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc., said in a statement. “Inc. is thrilled to honor the companies that have established themselves through innovation, hard work, and rising to the challenges of today.”
Bridge Home Health & Hospice crossing state lines
San Diego-headquartered Bridge Home Health & Hospice, with 527% growth, was the highest-ranked hospice provider on the magazine’s list at No. 1,247.
CEO Mike Suor founded the company in 2013 with just himself, a nurse, and a biller on the payroll, he told Hospice News. In 2020, Bridge recapitalized with private equity dollars.
Today, the company’s 24 locations cover close to 40% of its home state, 20 out of California’s 52 counties. Recently the company expanded to Colorado with the acquisition of a Denver home health company, followed by a hospice de novo.
Thus far, Bridge’s growth strategy has had a heavy focus on de novos coupled with transactions to purchase dormant licenses, according to Suor.
The company recently revamped its executive team with a new CFO, chief compliance officer, and vice president of operations to execute its strategy for continued growth.
“We’re constantly looking at opportunities. This market is very fragmented, and there’s a lot of uncertainty that’s coming along the pipeline with retention issues and [payment] cap issues for other hospices,” Suor told Hospice News. “It’s really difficult to be a small provider in this space. So we’re looking we’re constantly looking at opportunities, including in new areas.”
Traditions Health an M&A juggernaut
Traditions Health, a portfolio company of the family-owned investment firm Dorilton Capital Advisors, is a case study on private equity’s bullish approach to hospice. The company reached No. 1,645 on Inc.’s Top 5,000 with 377% growth.
Tradition’s footprint has ballooned from a single location to more than 75 nationwide since Dorilton started backing the company in 2011, with acquisitions as a key driver. Traditions has completed more than a dozen transactions during the last three years.
“We are honored to be recognized for the fourth year in a row by Inc. magazine,” said Traditions President and CEO David Klementz. “In the past three years we have experienced tremendous growth and being named to Inc. 5,000 again is a testament to our team’s relentless focus on providing exceptional patient care and superior clinical outcomes.”
Traditions in March acquired San Diego-based Sonata Hospice, as well as Cadence Hospice, Pacific Crest Hospice and Sonata Hospice of Riverside County, all in California. The company also stepped into the Nevada market with the purchase of Sonata Hospice of Las Vegas.
These deals followed the purchase of Kansas-based Serenity Health Management, also in March.
HealthFlex builds up California footprint
Oakland, California-based Healthflex has made Inc.’s list several years running. The company reached No. 2,299 this year, achieving growth of 255%.
HealthFlex provides home health, hospice, palliative care, social work, and personal care. The company — currently serving more than 10,000 patients across its business lines — has more than quadrupled in size since its founding in 2012.
Currently, the home health and hospice provider serves the entire San Francisco Bay area, as well as Santa Clara, Solano, and Contra Costa counties. Healthflex also recently expanded to Sacramento. For the time being, home health is the company’s largest business line.
However, hospice is rapidly catching up, according to Jessica Arechiga, senior director of operations for hospice services for Healthflex. But pursuing growth in that business line has required a good deal of education for referral partners and other stakeholders.
“Our hospice has taken off over the last three years in a pretty steady trajectory. Our strategy is where we have home health care, we move in our hospice and our caregiving service line as well,” Arechiga told Hospice News. “Hospice isn’t always as welcomed as home health. I think we’ve done a wonderful job of explaining that it’s a higher level of care that gives you more dignity and quality of life. We educate them and help them understand that the sooner we get these patients, the sooner they can benefit from hospice.”