This year, industry news was dominated by the largest senior living operator in the nation, Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD).
It’s not surprising that the industry behemoth generates a lot of reader interest, but the Brentwood, Tennessee-based provider created a lot of news this year with its ongoing efforts to find the formula for success after merging with rival Emeritus Corp. in 2014. The company was involved in no fewer than 7 of the 10 most-read stories on Senior Housing News. Among the numerous changes at Brookdale there were executive shakeups, portfolio sales and layoffs.
Here’s a list of the top 10 most-read Senior Housing News articles in 2016:
January 7 — ‘Shark Tank’ Bets Big on Senior Living Residents
The senior housing industry is a lucrative business, especially when there’s a good message behind it. A budding business that knits handbags enlisted the help of residents at senior living communities to help in the production, but soon realized it didn’t have the capital necessary for marketing. Then the founder took the business to the television show “Shark Tank” to make her case as a successful entrepreneur.
January 28 — The Top 10 Senior Housing Trends for 2016
Predictions surrounding expectations for 2016 loomed in January and included worker challenges, technology and person-centered care delivery. Issues around staffing were indeed seen to be a large part of 2016 as well as upgrading technology to keep up with incoming tech-savvy baby boomers.
Brookdale makes its first appearance on this list for the news that its president and executive vice president stepped down as the company faced challenges after the integration of Emeritus. This announcement also followed the company’s shift to lower expectations for 2016.
The single most-read story of 2016 unsurprisingly also involves Brookdale—this story is not about the company itself, though, but rather about a former executive who has struck out on his own. The former Northeast Division President for Brookdale announced the inception of Vitality Senior Living. Since the announcement Vitality acquired its first property this month.
On Investor Day in May, Brookdale CEO Andy Smith addressed the substantial growth he expected to see from the company for the remainder of 2016. At this time, Smith disclosed a plan to save a substantial amount of cash, to increase cash flow to $420 million, among other plans. This plan however did not do the company much good once third-quarter earnings were released.
President and CEO of Brookdale Andy Smith wasn’t always an industry insider. Senior Housing News sat down with him to get the full story on how he go into the industry in the first place and how he gets 82,000 people to believe in him.
Brookdale has been trying to right-size its portfolio since the Emeritus acquisition, and this summer they made progress by selling a 44-property portfolio for $253 million.
HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP) has taken a few steps this year to reduce the number of Brookdale properties in its portfolio and adjust the terms of its partnership with its largest tenant. The first in the effort came when HCP sold 64 Brookdale properties in a $1.125 billion portfolio. Following the unload of Brookdale properties were three amendments for the triple-net lease with the company.
November 20 — Brookdale Lays Off 100 Workers as Cost-Cutting Proceeds
This year has been full of staffing concerns, from minimum wage increases hurting operators to retention issues. Brookdale was not left out. In November the company laid off 100 workers to cut costs just weeks after the company missed its earning expectations for third-quarter.
After the announcement of the new overtime rule by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in May, leaders in the industry scrutinized the law for potentially increasing labor costs. But just one week before the rule was set to go into effect, a U.S. District Court judge stopped it. Now, it is still up in the air as to whether the rule will ever go into effect, especially once president-elect Trump takes office.
Written by Alana Stramowski