Ensign’s Cornerstone in Buy-Now Mode, CEO Says

Cornerstone Healthcare — the large in-home care provider organization under The Ensign Group Inc. (NYSE: ENSG) umbrella — is actively seeking opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling home health, hospice and home care operations across the United States.

That’s according to Cornerstone President and CEO Daniel Walker, who hinted at future M&A moves following a series of deals announced by Cornerstone on Thursday.

Cornerstone is an Eagle, Idaho-based home health, hospice and home care company with affiliates that operate throughout more than 50 agencies across 12 western states.


Mission Viejo, California-based Ensign is the parent company for 254 health care facilities, 26 hospice agencies, 25 home health agencies and nine home care businesses nationally.

In-line with Walker’s statement, Ensign and Cornerstone have kept active on the acquisition front, making at least nine deals over the past few months alone.

Most recently, the company announced on Thursday that Cornerstone Healthcare acquired Resolutions Hospice, which operates hospice agencies in the Austin and Houston markets in Texas.


“Texas continues to present many opportunities for growth in each of our service lines,” Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the news. “Through disciplined and strategic growth, we have been fortunate to develop a strong presence throughout the state of Texas.”

In general, creating operational density in key markets has been a focus of several major home health and post-acute care providers, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) prioritizes seamless patient transitions from setting to setting. Being able to provide multiple services for patients as their conditions change helps reduce care gaps, which, in turn, curbs hospital re-admission rates and trips to the emergency department.

Also on Thursday, Ensign announced it acquired four skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in California, including Santa Ana-based The Hills Post Acute; Fullerton-based St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation; Santa Maria-based Villa Maria Post Acute; and Orange California-based California and Mainplace Post Acute.

Additionally, the company announced it purchased two post-acute care retirement campuses — Peoria, Arizona-based Vista Post Acute and Rehabilitation and Mesa, Arizona-based Alta Mesa Health and Rehabilitation.

Ensign’s most recent home health-related transaction came in March, when the company announced a subsidiary of Cornerstone had acquired the assets of All County Home Care and Hospice in Boerne, Texas, effective March 1.

The Ensign Group and Cornerstone did not respond to Home Health Care News’ requests for comment prior to publishing this story.

The Ensign Group is slated to issue its Q1 2019 financial results on Monday.

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