The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) announced last week that its Mt. Ogden Health & Rehabilitation Center in Ogden, Utah has successfully graduated from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Special Focus Facility program. The facility, which was acquired by an Ensign operating subsidiary in July 2006, was added to the Special Focus program in 2007 based largely on events that occurred prior to Ensign’s arrival. Special Focus status is invoked based on a facility’s operating history going back three years, regardless of whether a change of ownership has occurred over that time. The Mt. Ogden team completed the complex turnaround in less than 16 months, while simultaneously completing significant renovations and upgrades to the 108-bed skilled nursing facility and its care programs and systems.
"It was a team effort, and only a small part of what we’re accomplishing as we strive to make Mt. Ogden the Ogden area’s skilled nursing facility of choice," said Brad Albrechtsen, Mt. Ogden’s Executive Director. He also praised the Utah Department of Health’s licensing and certification staff, adding that the Mt. Ogden team is "deeply grateful to the staff at UDH for their help, support and confidence in Mt. Ogden and its people."
Ensign currently has one remaining facility on the Special Focus list. "We’re not afraid of challenging facilities," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s President and CEO, noting that one of Ensign’s founding objectives was to raise quality standards across the skilled nursing industry "one facility at a time." He added that the company is actively looking for additional opportunities to acquire both well-performing and struggling long-term care operations.