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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2001

Manor Care to expand services in skilled nursing facilities

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Toledo's Manor Care, Inc., this year is intent on increasing Medicare patients and expanding services in its skilled nursing facilities as the government provides bigger payments for nursing homes.

Skilled-nursing facilities are less expensive than hospitals, and Manor Care has assisted-living centers and other services for patients who don't need such high levels of care, said Paul Ormond, Manor Care's president and chief executive.

“This is a ... better use for our skilled-nursing facilities,” he said. “We have another way to care for those patients.”

During Manor Care's annual shareholder meeting at One SeaGate yesterday, Mr. Ormond briefed investors and employees on the increase of Medicare patients in the company's mix.

In the first three months this year, 27 percent of patients were Medicare recipients, up from 25 percent for the last three months of last year and from 22 percent for the same period a year earlier, he said.

Manor Care is wise to increase its base of Medicare patients in order to earn added government payments, which started April 1, said Thad Waugh, an associate analyst with Stephens, Inc., in Little Rock, Ark.

“You can only go so far, but it definitely shows they are planning this properly,” he said.

Mr. Waugh commended the company for developing a base of additional services, such as home health agencies and assisted living centers, for those patients who don't need skilled nursing facilities.

Manor Care, which had $2.4 billion in revenues last year, has more than 500 skilled nursing facilities and other health-care operations in 32 states.

Many of its competitors are in bankruptcy, in part because of past government payment decreases.

Manor Care this year is looking at acquiring skilled nursing facilities or hospice providers in markets it already serves, Mr. Ormond said, without offering specific targets or details.

Last year, the company acquired In Home Health, Inc., which provides home health and hospice care in 15 states.



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