With New Acquisition, Immanuel Moves to Become Regional Senior Housing Player

Immanuel has provided senior housing and services to the greater Omaha, Nebraska, area since 1887. But its most recent acquisition sets the firm’s sights beyond the Cornhusker state.

Immanuel completed the acquisition of The Shores at Pleasant Hill, an assisted and independent living and memory care community in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 1. This is part of a strategy to transform Immanuel into a regional provider, Immanuel CEO Eric Gurley told Senior Housing News.

“We opened our first Des Moines operation in 2015 with a PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) program,” Gurley said. “This acquisition complements [that].”

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Immanuel operates 11 communities in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska, along with a PACE program in Omaha and two PACE programs serving southwest and central Iowa. The group aims to generate one-third of its total revenues in Des Moines. The growth of Immanuel’s PACE programs showed a pent-up demand in Iowa. Through the PACE program, seniors receive additional Medicare and Medicaid benefits to support them living at home rather than in an institution.

“People want to stay at home,” Gurley said.

Moving forward, Immanuel wants to target markets along Interstate 80 to build and acquire communities.

“We’re going to be selective,” Gurley said.

That discretion is rooted in Immanuel’s revenue-based growth strategy. The success of its PACE programs led Immanuel to expand its private-pay revenues, as well. It wants to keep third-party payment to no more than one-third of revenues, and Gurley believes its Iowa concerns can generate one-third of Immanuel’s total revenue.

In addition to the recent acquisition in Iowa, the company also recently forged a collaboration agreement with Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), which will become Immanuel’s home health collaboration partner throughout the Omaha market. VNA is poised to offer telehealth and wellness programming for Immanuel residents, in addition to home health care services.

In 2012, Immanuel sold its part of Alegent Creighton Health to Catholic Health Initiatives, which endowed the group with solid resources to expand, and Gurley believes it can capitalize on demand.

“We have solid resources so we can build the organization for an aggressive growth strategy that will carry us for the next five to seven years,” Gurley said.

Written by Chuck Sudo

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