Dare Home Health and Hospice on Board of Commissioners agenda

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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Dare County commissioners are considering selling the county’s Home Health and Hospice service.

Four proposals regarding purchasing the county’s agency were delivered to Dare County.

Dare County started the Home Health and Hospice services because, at the time, a need existed and no private provider was serving the county. Dare County holds certificates of need, issued by the state, to provide home care and hospice services within the entire county.

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The service operates at a loss, which has been as high as $1 million in one year, reports Robert L. Outten, county manager and attorney. In December 2020, he told the commissioners that retaining nurses was difficult. Without a full staff, operating the agency is problematic.

The commissioners are struggling to find options. Hiring staffing company would cost more than the existing subsidy, explained Outten in a telephone conference.

Now, companies are offering home health and hospice care in parts of the county. Commissioners are exploring the option to sell its Home Health and Hospice services.

In asking for proposals, the commissioners emphasized that the level of service must stay the same and that current employees must be taken care of.

In the April 7, 2021 agenda under Item No. 5 is a request from Outten to approve a Letter of Intent with one of those firms making proposals. On Tuesday, Outten said he will present a summary of the four proposals at the meeting.

To proceed with the sale, the commissioners will select one proposal to explore in greater detail. If the details of first proposal is acceptable, that is the proposal that will be up for public hearing on April 19. If the details are not acceptable, the commissioners can move on to another of the proposals.

Proposals from the following companies were provided at the offices of Outten:

– BrightSpring Health Services as Adoration Home Health Care, Louisville, Ky.

– ComfortCare Home Health and Hospice, Chesapeake, Va., affiliate of Chesapeake Regional Healthcare and The Outer Banks Hospital.

– Medical Services of America, Inc., Lexington, S.C.

– HealthView Home Health and Hospice, LLC, Rocky Mount.

BrightSpring’s Letter of Intent is the one in the agenda book for April 7, which may be viewed here. BrightSpring is offering to purchase Dare Home Health and Hospice for $2.9 million.

ComfortCare offers $250,500 in cash, a 12-month employee guarantee, $3,000 retention bonus payable at six months and 12 months, $1 million in uncompensated care in service area over 10 years, and severance pay and out-placement services if employment is not continued after 12 months.

HealthView makes an offer of $800,000 and will hire current employees.

Medical Services offers $300,000 with a guarantee of continued employment and tenure credit for certain benefits such as paid leave.

ComfortCare Home Health and Hospice is the only non-profit organization submitting an offer. “We wanted to approach this from a local perspective,” said J. Morgan Allen, director of home health and hospice for Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, which has a 35-year presence in Dare County and is joint-owner with Vidant of The Outer Banks Hospital. ComfortCare is not currently operating in North Carolina.

Three of the four proposals come from corporations:

BrightSpring operates home health care locations in North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Virginia and South Carolina. In North Carolina, the operation has 1,979 employees. Advanced home care through Adoration is provided in 11 areas of the state. In 2019, BrightSpring merged with PharMerica, another Louisville, Ky., company. The merger provides coordinated, holistic caregiving and pharmacy services, says the company. The company also reports serving 365,000 patients daily in 6,450 facilities nationwide. BrightSpring’s annual revenue in 2019 was $4.86 billion. The antecedent corporation is Res-Care Inc., which filed to do business in North Carolina on Dec. 8, 2000.

Medical Services of America, Inc., operates 29 home health agencies in nine states; 18 hospice programs in eight states; and 29 durable medical equipment agencies in 11 states. The corporation owns Albemarle Home Health and Hospice with an office in Poplar Branch, and a representative says it serves northern Dare County, Roanoke Island and Manns Harbor. Medi Home Care in Nags Head provides durable medical equipment.

HealthView Home Health and Hospice LLC is solely owned by HealthView Capital Partners, LLC, which is owned by C. Saunders Roberson Jr. “We’re real excited about the opportunity,” said Sonya A. Rozier, managing director, who prepared the offering proposal. Roberson and a partner at one time operated hospice services in eastern North Carolina, but sold the business. With this proposal, Capital Partners would restart offering hospice services. HealthView Home Health and Hospice would be directly managed by Capital Partners.