When Care Comes First, Growth Follows
Hospice Partners of America (HPA) was formed in 2010 when New Capital Partners saw the potential to leverage its extensive operational experience in managed care to create a world-class hospice platform. Norma English was hired as Chief Executive Officer in 2011, and the first goal was to improve the company’s performance by focusing on developing top-quality care and compliance programs. “We knew that backing Norma, a great operator with deep experience in clinical care, would result in delivery of better care to our patients, and thereby increased use of hospice across our locations,” said Adam Cranford, Managing Director of NCP and Board Member at HPA.
Concentrating on care was a successful strategy that allowed HPA to begin growing organically in the following years, partly thanks to the implementation of an outstanding technology infrastructure to manage clinical care, compliance, patient engagement and communication. Over the next several years, HPA made nine acquisitions and 10 de novo expansions. English said, “From a core of four initial locations, we grew to 21 locations in six states over a seven-year period. We achieved ACHC accreditation in all of our locations, further demonstrating our commitment to quality and compliance.”
Cranford credits HPA’s focus on clinical care with their overall success. “Putting patients first allowed us to really understand their needs. When we consistently achieved leading patient satisfaction scores in surveys, we knew we were on the right path, and that led to organic growth for HPA,” he said.
When HPA began, they served fewer than 200 patients per day on average. They achieved the milestone average daily census of 1,000 in mid-2019, something that English noted had been a goal for a year beforehand. “We found that focus and visibility on the basics of good care, referral source support and operational performance allowed us to reach this long-desired milestone,” English said.
English described HPA and NCP’s relationship as a “true partnership.” She said, “NCP worked to ensure that we made the best decisions for long-term success. NCP’s focus was always on identifying ways we could improve the quality of care we provided and the engagement of our employees while maintaining regulatory compliance. The belief was that census, revenue and earnings growth would be the natural by-product. For NCP, company performance was never solely measured on its financial success – they looked much deeper and broader. This approach played a significant role in our success when the company came to market in 2019.”
Addus HomeCare acquired HPA in October 2019 for $130 million. Cranford said, “We were thrilled for HPA to have a new partner like Addus who also values quality clinical care. We are very proud of the work we’ve done together over the last nine years, and especially of the care HPA has provided to patients at such a critical time in their lives and their families’ lives.” English echoed Cranford’s sentiments on commitment to care: “NCP pushed to make certain that we never lost sight of our core tenets. Having this as a fundamental foundation allowed us to build a company that both NCP and everyone who works for HPA could be proud.”