Embattled Home Health Company Selling to Competitor for $3 Million

One of the largest home health agencies in Indiana will be acquired by another local agency amid allegations from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) that the agency put patients in “immediate jeopardy.”

Carmel, Indiana-based Nightingale Home Healthcare will sell itself to Alliance Home Health Care for as much as $3 million, the Indiana Business Journal (IBJ) reported. Nightingale provides care to nearly 900 patients.

The sale signals an end to Nightingale’s ongoing legal challenges and fight to keep its contract with Medicare. The home health provider filed for bankruptcy in December 2015, after a Health Department report determined earlier that fall that the company put patients in harm’s way. ISDH recommended Medicare stop making reimbursements to Nightingale, effectively shutting down the business.

A judge granted Nightingale temporary allowance to continue receiving Medicare reimbursements in January, which ended earlier this month. Another judge turned down the company’s request for an appeal to keep their Medicare funding, according to IBJ.

In February, Nightingale’s owner, Dev A. Brar, filed a federal lawsuit against the ISDH for what he claimed was a “campaign of harassment and retaliation” to put the home health company out of business. Nightingale has vehemently denied the allegations that it had problems with staffing, training and care coordination.

Having lost its appeal and being heavily dependent on Medicare payments for its services, Nightingale “has determined it is necessary to cease operations generally, with the target of transitioning employees and patients… to another qualified provider to ensure continuity of employment for its staff and patient care for its patients,” the company said earlier this month in a motion, IBJ reported.

Alliance, which has been in business for 25 years, cited concern over the care for Nightingale’s patients if the company were to shut down among its reasons for acquiring the business. Alliance will pay $1.5 million at closing, which could be by July 15, and an additional amount up to $1.5 million based on revenues, according to IBJ. A hearing on the sale is set for June 29 in front of a bankruptcy judge in Indianapolis.

Nightingale’s annual revenue was reported as $14.8 million by IBJ. Alliance has 125 full-time employees, including nurses and aides. The company offers home health care, personal care, home care coordination, therapies and dementia and Alzheimer’s care.

Upon closing of acquisition, Alliance will not continue to use the Nightingale brand for the operations.

“We like our reputation,” Alliance Co-owner and Director of Private Duty Services Kimberly Bremer told IBJ. “We have a very strong name in the Indianapolis area. We would like to continue it… and leave the Nightingale baggage behind.”

Written by Amy Baxter