Texas-based Choice Health at Home’s recent purchase of Instant Care of Arizona is bursting with long-term growth potential.
The deal marked Choice’s first steps into the Arizona market and made the company a stronger player in the private duty and personal care arenas. The state’s payment landscape and demographic trends drew Choice’s eye to the Arizona market, said Choice CEO David Jackson.
The Instant Care deal marks a significant step forward in the company’s overall goal to extend its continuum of services and expand throughout the Southwest, according to Jackson.
“[Arizona has] a fantastic state government, a Medicaid program that truly aims to support families with intermediaries that share that vision, and a demographic that needs our services,” Jackson told Hospice News in an email. “Instant Care provided an extraordinary opportunity to move into non-medical home care in one of the most desirable markets in the United States.”
Established in 2003, Instant Care of Arizona provides in-home senior care and caregiving support to patients and their families in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, among 15 other cities throughout the Maricopa County area. Its supportive services include assistance with daily activities, housekeeping, meal preparation, feeding and transportation.
A rising number of home health and hospice providers are eying deals in the non-medical home care space, particularly as they gained access to more diverse payment sources in recent times.
In the past, these providers relied mostly on private pay, but during the past three years or so Medicaid has stepped up in a big way, including Arizona’s programs.
Veterans programs and managed care organizations also have become more involved in the space.
As of 2019, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allowed Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to offer non-skilled home care services as a supplemental benefit. In 2022, close to 15% of all MA plans – about 1,000 in total – offer in-home support services, according to Washington, D.C.-based research and advisory firm ATI Advisory.
Demand for senior care across the continuum is anticipated to grow in Arizona. The Grand Canyon State has seen a 52% rise in its senior population during the last decade, according to a 2021 report from the University of Arizona Health Sciences. By 2050, nearly 2.5 million adults will be 65 or older, projected the Arizona Department of Health Services. This is a jump from the current 1.3 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Stepping into Arizona with Instant Care marks a significant move in Choice’s overall merger and acquisition strategy and propels the company’s build up of services across the care spectrum, according to Jackson.
“The size of the business is such that it could be considered a platform by most operators in the home health and hospice space,” said Jackson. “It gives us great infrastructure to help deliver on our goal of the full continuum of care throughout our Southwestern footprint.”
In addition to Arizona, Choice operates in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The company initially launched as a rehabilitation service provider in 2008. Choice entered the home health market in 2012 and stepped into hospice in 2018.
In 2020 Choice partnered with Trive Capital and Coltala Holdings, widening its reach as a post-acute care company. The following year Choice went on to complete 10 transactions within the hospice and home health space, including two Oklahoma-based companies, Alpha Home Health and Hospice and Angelic Hospice.
Instant Care is Choice’s second acquisition this year. Earlier in 2022, Choice secured a $190 million credit line led by Oxford Finance, a global specialty financial firm focused on life sciences and health care investments. With that infusion of capital, Choice purchased Oklahoma-based Kindful Hospice and Texas-based Amed Home.
“Choice was clearly the right partner to take Instant Care into the future,” said Instant Care Operating Manager Brad Scovil in an announcement. “We are excited to see our company flourish under Choice’s guidance.”
Financial terms of the transaction were undisclosed. M&A advisory firm VERTESS facilitated the deal.
Choice sees more growth opportunities on the horizon. The company will go full steam ahead in M&A activity into late 2022 and early 2023, with an immediate focus on hospice transactions, according to Jackson.
“We have an exciting announcement in hospice in October, and will continue to be active into 2023,” Jackson told Hospice News.