Health Care, Human Resources, and Technology

Skilled nursing facilities have new owners and management

August 16, 2018
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Heartland Health Care Center
The former Heartland Health Care Center-Greenview, at 1700 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids. Photo via Yellowpages.com 

Seven outpatient skilled nursing facilities in West Michigan have new owners and management.

Nine former HCR ManorCare facilities — five in West Michigan and four on the state’s east side — were purchased mid-July by a private investment group from Bethesda, Maryland-based Quality Care Properties.

Evanston, Illinois-based Illuminate Human Capital, among the purchasing group, will manage the facilities, which were all operating under the selling company’s Heartland brand.

West Michigan facilities include two in Grand Rapids, one in Muskegon and one in Whitehall.

Three weeks later, Illuminate HC announced the addition of two other West Michigan facilities: another former Heartland facility, at 625 36th St. SW, in Wyoming, and the former Tinley Park, Illinois-based Providence facility, at 285 N. State St. in Zeeland.

Price of the deals were not disclosed.

The facilities will transition to the new SKLD brand.

The deals give Illuminate HC a 1,300-bed portfolio with more than 1,600 employees in West Michigan and on the state’s east side.

The company plans to invest more than $20 million into the facilities in capital improvements, staff expansion, equipment and technology, and personnel strategies.

Harry Schayer, Illuminate HC co-founder and president, said development plans and timelines are still coming together, so it’s too early to provide specific numbers pertinent to West Michigan.

Illuminate HC plans to implement its own logistics system that uses patent-pending software, wearable devices and a new staffing model to respond to patient call light requests in as little as 30 seconds, improve safety and increase the amount of uninterrupted time that caregivers can spend with patients.

The company also plans to implement a new scheduling system; and expanded care staff, including specialized physicians, nurses and pharmacists; and new compensation and retention strategies designed to “lift the status of skilled care as a profession.”

“The economics of post-hospital care have shifted, but the delivery model is stuck in the 20th century,” said Yair Zuckerman, Illuminate HC co-founder and CEO. “Change is needed to compete in an environment where patients in skilled care facilities have more complex needs, margins are shrinking and performance improvements are increasingly important to boost facility reimbursement levels.”

Schayer said some changes, such as staff enhancements, will happen “quickly,” while other changes, such as technology, will take more time.

“All in all, there will be steady and growing activity over the next six to 18 months, with some facilities seeing more substantial changes sooner than others,” Schayer said.

While Illuminate HC may add and enhance services, Schayer said it will not affect the current scope of care or patient costs.

Schayer said managing these properties is the “first step in a broader plan to build a regional portfolio and to create a blueprint of fresh approaches to today’s clinical, regulatory, reimbursement and organizational pressures.”

Quality Care Properties

HCR ManorCare transferred ownership to its landlord, Quality Care Properties, earlier this year after it filed a $7.1-billion bankruptcy plan.

Quality Care Properties, not including the West Michigan properties now managed by Illuminate HC, was recently acquired in a joint venture by Welltower and ProMedica, both based in Toledo.

Illuminate HC

Illuminate HC is a private company founded in 2017.

The Michigan facilities are the first in its management portfolio.

Illuminate HC also works to develop products, services and strategies meant to improve care, staff satisfaction and operational performance.

The company has corporate offices in Southfield and Evanston, Illinois.

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