Edward Hospital sells home care unit

This is a breaking news story I reported for the Naperville Sun.

July 10, 2009

By RUTH MOON For The Sun

Edward Hospital in Naperville has sold its home care unit to Michigan-based Residential Home Health, the hospital announced Thursday.

The sale will be finalized by July 31. Edward Home Care, which provides in-home medical services to patients who are discharged from Edward Hospital, has been operating in the Naperville community for 14 years. Edward also purchased a stake in Residential Home Health’s Illinois operations.

All current employees at the home care unit will be kept on staff, and the Residential Home Health Web site lists job openings in Chicago’s western suburbs as well.

The recent economic downturn was not a factor in the decision to sell, hospital spokesperson Keith Hartenberger said. The hospital began the sale process last year before the economy plummeted.

“We sold it because home care is a highly regulated business, and it’s something that residential home health deals with every day in a much more highly specialized and focused way,” Hartenberger said. “We thought there was a good match.”

David Curtis, president of Residential Home Health, declined to state how much money Residential Home Health paid for the Edward unit, and the Edward CFO was not available for comment.

Residential Home Health will operate the unit out of current Edward offices for now, but is already looking into purchasing separate space in Naperville for a main office. That move should happen in the next few years, Curtis said.

Residential Home Health operates in 34 Michigan counties and has been named to a national list of leading Medicare-certified health care providers for the last two years. Naperville will be its first foray out of Michigan.

“We have reached a critical mass in Michigan, and Chicago is another great Midwestern market,” Curtis said. “It’s a logical extension. It is easy to get to and it’s a strong medical community with lots of great hospitals.”

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