The Ensign Group Successfully Graduates Fourth Nursing Home From CMS Special Focus Program

The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG) announced today that its Copper Ridge Health & Rehabilitation Center in West Jordan, Utah has successfully graduated from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Special Focus Facility program.

"It was a team effort, and only a fraction of what we’re accomplishing as we strive to make Copper Ridge the Salt Lake Valley’s skilled nursing facility of choice," said Craig Ulibarri, Copper Ridge’s Executive Director. He also praised the Utah Department of Health’s licensing and certification staff, adding that the Copper Ridge team is "deeply grateful to the staff at UDH for their help, support and confidence in Copper Ridge and its people."


The facility had already been assigned to the Special Focus program when an Ensign operating subsidiary first took over the facility in October 2009. Special Focus status is invoked based on a facility’s operating history going back three years. It remains in place until the facility passes consecutive state surveys and demonstrates consistent compliance with regulatory requirements over an extended period of time, regardless of whether a change of ownership has occurred in the interim.

The Copper Ridge team completed the complex turnaround in less than nine months, simultaneously making numerous upgrades to the 120-bed skilled nursing facility’s care programs and systems.

Noting the speed with which the Copper Ridge team completed the turnaround, Christopher Christensen, Ensign’s President and CEO, observed that, "Although the kinds of problems that merit Special Focus designation do not usually get fixed overnight, we are proud of the sweeping and meaningful changes the Copper Ridge team made, and the urgency with which they made them."


With 81 locations in seven western states, Ensign acquires both well-performing and struggling facilities, and has long been known in the skilled nursing industry as a turnaround specialist. Ensign teams have previously graduated facilities in Tucson, Arizona, Pocatello, Idaho, and Ogden, Utah from the Special Focus program. At present, Ensign has one remaining facility on the Special Focus list.

About Ensign(TM)

The Ensign Group, Inc.’s independent operating subsidiaries provide a broad spectrum of skilled nursing and assisted living services, physical, occupational and speech therapies, home health and hospice services, and other rehabilitative and healthcare services for both long-term residents and short-stay rehabilitation patients at 81 facilities, two hospice companies and a home health business in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho and Colorado. More information about Ensign is available at

SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.