In-home care provider AccentCare is entering 2018 with no regrets, as the Dallas-based company transitions a new acquisition, Nurses Unlimited, into its ranks.
“This is a very good, mid-sized acquisition,” Daniel Buning, executive vice president of operations at AccentCare, told Home Health Care News. “There’s no buyer’s regret.”
Based in Odessa, Texas, Nurses Unlimited is a provider of personal care services, Medicare-certified home health and private duty nursing. The move ultimately strengthens AccentCare’s presence in the state, according to Buning. The company has more than 60 locations in the state. The acquisition price was not disclosed.
Across 11 states, AccentCare operates regional brands, including Alliance For Health, AccentCare of New York and Texas Home Health. Nurses Unlimited, however, will maintain its brand name, as well as its local offices’ leadership.
“What this acquisition [does is] allow us to now provide personal care services in every county in the state of Texas,” he said.
The merger, which went into effect December 29, is reflective of the company’s tactics for initiating growth.
“[Our strategy is] kind of dual pronged—organic growth through forming strong relationships in the market and then, for the acquisitions, we look for strong providers in the market to expand our capability within our markets,” Buning said.
The acquisition of Nurses Unlimited will add approximately 3,000 employees and 26 private care offices to the AccentCare workforce; meanwhile, roughly 3,700 clients and patients of Nurses Unlimited will be absorbed by the company, according to Buning.
The sale of Nurses Unlimited coincides with the retirement of CEO Bobby Laughry, according to Beth DaSilva, president of San Diego-based health care mergers and acquisitions firm Fleetridge Pacific, which represented Nurses Unlimited during the transaction.
“Joining [AccentCare] is a great opportunity for Nurses Unlimited’s growth,” Laughry said in a press release.
“Nurses Unlimited felt like AccentCare was aligned with their mission and goals and how they treat their employees,” DaSilva told HHCN. “They felt that their employees and patients would be well taken care of.”
Sharing the same vision is a crucial piece to AccentCare’s acquisition strategy, in which its executives consider more than just a prospective company’s geographic location.
“Equally, if not more important to that, is we look for companies that are complementary to our culture and to our operating principles and values,” Buning said. “When we met with Bobby and his team back in 2017, we could tell right away this was an organization that was well run, had a great set of employees and a strong, complementary culture.”
Another important aspect about the acquisition was the importance for Nurses Unlimited to maintain its own identity.
“That’s an important part of our strategy because Nurses Unlimited has a strong brand in the market where they operate,” Buning said. “It’s our intent to still operate them as Nurses Unlimited because of their strong relationship and strong reputation in the market, among both clients and payers.”
In addition to its acquisition of Nurses Unlimited, AccentCare marked its purchase of Jackson, Mississippi-based Sta-Home Home Health & Hospice as another significant transaction in 2017.
In terms of joint-venture (JV) moves, the company inked partnerships last year with health system UCLA Health to serve patients in the greater Los Angeles area, as well as with Baylor Scott & White Health, a non-profit health care system in Texas.
With these ventures under the company’s belt, Buning explained that AccentCare aims to build on this momentum in 2018.
“Our JVs and relationships are going to allow us to grow organically in our strategic markets,” Buning said. “We are continuously filling a pipeline for acquisitions in our markets and we’re continuously looking at opportunities at all the states that we operate in.”
AccentCare aims to fully transition Nurses Unlimited into its system over the next six to eight months, according to Buning.
“We’ve got a plan for where it makes sense to integrate their capabilities with ours,” he said. “[But] they’re operating very well and we’re not rushing in to fix anything. We’ll work with them to provide opportunities for us to work together.”
Written by Carlo Calma