Saturday, August 13, 2011

Odd Hospitality-Healthcare PEU

CityBizList Atlanta reported:

Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins has joined forces with a high-end health care provider on a new concept in hospitality-health care facilities.

Anuschka Health Care Management Group, LLC specializes in providing health care hospitality equal to the finest hotels. Together, the company and Wilkins have formed Anuschka Health Care Group of Georgia, LLC to develop, manage and own hospitality-health care and rehabilitation facilities that will bear the "Dominique Wilkins" name. The first such facility will be a 20-room private in-patient acute rehabilitation center located in the Roberts Hotel Atlanta-Marietta, 1775 Parkway Place in Marietta, Ga., and will open this Fall.
The story raised many questions in my mind.  The first centered around Georgia's Certificate of Need law and if this project had been approved.  I checked the CON archives for any Anuschka inpatient rehabilitation hospital approvals.  There were none listed.  That said the project may not have been reviewable.

A second question arose regarding the people involved.  Who had the gravitas to land an ex-NBA star, one beloved in the state of Georgia?  Anuschka Healthcare Management Group CEO Juanita Ann Bates showed her credentials as BS, HSA, LNFA, and FACHE. She claimed two other companies on her bio. The first was St. Charles Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital, a 16 bed rehab hospital in Luling, Louisiana. St. Charles most recent Medicare cost report revealed 1,971 patient days.  That equated to a 33% average daily census for a 16 bed hospital. AHD reported St. Charles' finances:

Gross patient revenue -- $2,790,478
Net income -- $503,414

How does a facility one-third utilized make an18% profit?  Almost 70% of their revenue, $1.95 million, came from Medicare patients.  No wonder investors are salivating to get into the ever exploding health care money pie.

Ms. Bates also listed the The Louisiana Wellness Association, established to improve community health and wellness along the lines of the Houston Wellness Association. The Houston group had traction, the Louisiana effort never got out of the starting gate, with no events the last three years and only 2 blog posts, one in 2009 and another in 2010.

Aruschka's "owned and operated hospitals" include the already mentioned St. Charles and Ascension Gonzales Rehabilitation Hospital (AGRH).  AGRH made no mention of Aruschka on its website.     St. Charles website showed Juanita Bates as President/CEO.  It's a mystery as to which facilities are owned and which are operated, I assume under a management contract.  (Click on the image below to make it larger.)

My next area of curiosity regarded private capital behind the deal. One might expect Dominique Wilkens to have funds to invest, as would Michael Roberts of Roberts Hotels, the site of the new 20 bed unit in Marietta.  Roberts Hotels' website showed the Marietta property as a Crowne Plaza.  Clicking on the picture per instruction I got "an invalid Hotel Mnemonic was provided" on Crowne Plaza's website. 

Anuschka listed Gates Group Capital Partners as a strategic partner, specifically giving Gates credit under "global management."  Gates' website stated:

Gates Group Capital Partners provides investment services and diversification opportunities within the areas of transportation, infrastructure and complementary service businesses.
This led to my last area of curiosity, hospital beds inside a hotel?  Life safety codes for inpatient hospitals require expensive new construction.  How much did Anuschka spend on modifications?  Hospital and hospitality might be a complementary service business when people have to travel for healthcare, but this version sounded odd in a major metropolitan area.. 

This could be the most professionally planned project in the history of new rehab hospitals.  If so, the groups involved need to update their websites.  Their look and outdated information don't support their luxury service brand niche.

I wonder how many LLC's are rushing into deals with new private capital?  The Anuschka project will get certified by Medicare at some point.  Will the five star promotion hold in service delivery?   I'd love to read the report.