Home Health Business Briefs: Procura’s New CEO

As one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, home health care is teeming with activity — from acquisitions and partnerships to new leadership appointments and promotions. Here’s the latest news buzzing around the industry:

Josh Luke Joins Health Dimensions Group as National Advisor 

Health Dimensions Group (HDG) recently announced that Josh Luke has joined the company as a national advisor and member of the consulting leadership team. Luke will provide thought leadership activities, business development, project oversight and new product development.

“Josh is a well-known health care industry expert,” said Craig Abbott, HDG’s CEO. “HDG is fortunate to draw on his best practices in creating new programs that generate revenue for the health care systems and facilities in this non-traditional post-acute and transitional care space.”

Luke is the founder of the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative, a consultancy and collaborative of national leaders who share best-practice case studies for readmission prevention and population health management.

He is a frequent speaker at national, regional and local industry events and association meetings. He has served as a nursing home administrator, an acute hospital and inpatient rehabilitation hospital CEO, and a health system vice president, where he had oversight for home health and hospice.

He is the author of “Readmission Prevention: Solutions Across the Provider Continuum,” which is the best-selling book of the year for the American College of Health Care Executives.

Luke serves on the Board of Directors for the California Hospital Association Center for Post-Acute Care, and chairs the Hospital Association of Southern California Care Coordination Committee. He serves as executive faculty and recently designed a post-acute care transitions curriculum for the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and also has served as executive faculty at California State University Long Beach.

The Ensign Group Acquires 2 Utah Skilled Nursing Facilities 

The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) — the parent company of the Ensign group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, home health care, hospice care, assisted living and urgent care companies — announced recently that it acquired the operations and real estate of Wasatch Healthcare and Rehabilitation, a 63-bed skilled nursing facility in Ogden, Utah, and St. George Rehabilitation, a 130-bed skilled nursing facility in St. George, Utah. Both acquisitions were effective May 1, 2015.

“These opportunistic acquisitions further solidify Ensign’s presence in the important Utah health care market,” said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s president and CEO, noting that the these new operations cluster well with the skilled nursing, assisted living, home health and hospice operations already serving patients and residents in Northern and Southern Utah.

Jorge Rojas, president of Milestone, Ensign’s Utah-based portfolio subsidiary, said he expects operations at the newly acquired properties — which had an aggregate occupancy rate of approximately 51% at acquisition — to be mildly accretive to earnings in 2015.

In a separate transaction on the same day, an Ensign subsidiary also acquired Bainbridge Island Health and Rehabilitation, a 69-bed skilled nursing operation in Bainbridge Island, Wash. The Washington purchase was effective May 1, 2015 and Ensign will retain ownership of the real estate for the property.

These acquisitions bring Ensign’s portfolio to 150 health care properties, 25 of which are owned, 12 hospice agencies, 13 home health agencies, three home care businesses and 16 urgent care clinics across 12 states.

Partnership to Provide Flu Vaccine to Home Health, Hospice Agencies

Protein Sciences Corporation, along with The Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home (CTH@H), announced a new partnership recently that will bring Flublok influenza vaccine to home health and hospice agencies across the state.

“Ensuring that Connecticut’s 20,000 home health and hospice agency employees have access to the Flublok vaccine for both their patient population as well as for themselves is a positive step toward the goal of limiting exposure and spread of the flu,” said Deborah Hoyt, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association for Healthcare at Home. “Home health workers are on the front line in terms of reaching the most vulnerable patients — the frail, homebound and disabled — making this new relationship with Protein Sciences a strategic step toward improving population health in Connecticut.”

As a new affinity partner of CTH@H, Protein Sciences will make Flublok available to CTH@H member agencies for the 2015-2016 flu season.

“The Connecticut Association for Home Healthcare is the united voice for home and community-based care delivery in the state. This partnership brings new opportunities to create awareness for Flublok from a ground-up perspective,” said Manon Cox, president and CEO of Protein Sciences Corporation. “Entering into an affinity partnership with CTH@H is an exciting opportunity to inform and engage the community-based workforce about Flublok and its unique features for their patients.”

Chris Junker Named Chief Executive Officer for Procura

Procura USA Holdings, Inc., a global provider of software and solutions to home health agencies, community care agencies, hospice and residential care agencies, announced recently that it has named Christopher Junker as the new president and CEO of the company, including all related subsidiaries.

Junker, an experienced software CEO with a proven track record in expanding innovation and driving quality development at high-growth software companies, replaces Scott Overhill, who served as Procura’s CEO since April, 2014.

Junker will be called upon to drive Procura’s organic and transaction growth objectives, both in North America and abroad.

He brings to the position more than 20 years of experience in enterprise software with a focus in billing, content management, and big data. Most recently, he held the CEO post at Microsystems, Inc., a document analysis software company serving the legal and life science industries.

He also served as the CEO at SpringCM, a cloud enterprise content management firm and Fios, Inc. (now DTI), a cloud e-discovery software firm.

Prior to that, Junker held the position of general manager and worldwide vice president of sales for the legal and professional services industry at Interwoven, which was acquired in 2009 by Autonomy Corporation Plc in a transaction valued at approximately $800 million. At Interwoven, Junker led the company through 21 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth and operating margin expansion.

In his ongoing role as CTO, Scott Overhill will focus on product strengthening and development.

eCaring Expands Into Private Pay Market with Chicago’s LifeStyle Options

LifeStyle Options, Inc., one of Chicago’s home care companies, has signed an agreement with eCaring to provide its cloud-based care and disease management systems to LifeStyle’s clients.

LifeStyle Options marks eCaring’s initial expansion into the private pay market, which includes more than 2.4 million families in the U.S.

“Families can log on and monitor specifically how mom or dad is doing, which services they are receiving, how they’re maintaining their health status and we can be alerted to any situations requiring immediate attention,” said Laura deBruin, president and COO of LifeStyle Options, Inc. “These new eCaring features enhance communication between our staff and family members, ensuring that we provide a better service than ever to keep our clients living comfortably at home longer by avoiding serious problems that could lead to hospitalizations.”

eCaring’s cloud technology is designed to enhance care and reduce costs by providing a real-time home care management and monitoring system. Alerts enable timely interventions to keep small problems from becoming big ones.

eCaring has saved an average of over $4,000 per patient per month, by reducing ER visits, hospitalizations and readmissions, substantially lowering patient costs while improving care quality, the company says. For example, it reduced CHF readmission rates for Beth Israel Medical Center in New York by 60%, and has been proven to reduce hospital length of stays by 70%, as well as MD visits by 50% and nurse visits by 12%.

Post-Acute Care Provider AccentCare Names New General Counsel

Dallas, Texas-based AccentCare, Inc. announced recently it has hired Timothy Ryan as its general counsel.

Ryan will assume his new responsibilities with the home health, hospice, medical home care, personal care and care management services provider on May 11, 2015.

“Tim is a great addition to our team”, said CEO Steve Rodgers. “He has a wealth of industry knowledge, and will play a key role as we expand the breadth and integration of our post-acute services.”

Ryan joins AccentCare after 23 years in a variety of roles at UnitedHealth Group, including his most recent role as general counsel for Optum Health.

Prior to that, he spent time as an attorney at law firms in Chicago and Detroit.

Written by Emily Study