MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the Ensign™ group of skilled nursing, rehabilitative care services, hospice care and assisted living companies, today announced a joint venture to develop and operate urgent care facilities and related businesses.
Dr. John Shufeldt, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of one of the nation's largest and most successful privately-owned providers of urgent care and occupational medical services, will lead the new venture, Immediate Clinic, LLC.
"Dr. Shufeldt is one of the most well-respected leaders in the urgent care industry, and our association with him is consistent with our core 'talent-first' philosophy for delivering care," said Christopher Christensen, Ensign's President and Chief Executive Officer. "It's a privilege to partner with Dr. Shufeldt and the Immediate Clinic team as they establish a new benchmark for top-quality urgent care service," he said.
Mr. Christensen briefly explained some of the venture's appeal for Ensign, saying, "By adding routine physician services to the sub-acute, skilled nursing, physical therapy, home health, hospice, assisted living and other services our various businesses provide, this venture allows us to expand our footprint within the full continuum of care, while simultaneously diversifying our payor sources."
Mr. Christensen reemphasized Ensign's core commitment to the skilled nursing industry, noting that he expects the addition of Immediate Clinic's physician-driven retail healthcare capabilities to enhance Ensign's relationships with hospital systems, physician groups, managed care organizations, accountable care organizations and other providers and payors, and be accretive to Ensign's existing businesses.
Dr. Shufeldt added that, "As new health reforms are implemented, Immediate Clinic will be primed to meet patient needs by filling the middle ground between primary care physicians and hospital emergency departments." He further said that by bringing together customer-driven health care and innovative medical technologies to deliver superior urgent care and occupational medical services, Immediate Clinic can become a true leader in the urgent care industry.
Immediate Clinic's state-of-the-art walk-in clinics will offer daily access to healthcare for minor injuries and illnesses, including X-ray and lab services, all from convenient neighborhood locations and with no appointment. Design and construction planning for several new locations is currently underway, and Immediate Clinic is also seeking opportunities to acquire existing urgent care operations across the United States. To date, Ensign has committed $4 million to the joint venture, and expects Immediate Clinic to open its first facilities within the second quarter of 2012.
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 102 facilities, three hospice companies and four home health businesses in California, Arizona, Texas, Washington, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Nebraska. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.
SOURCE The Ensign Group, Inc.