Nashville, TN (NursingSalary.org) – Nine months ago, Signature HealthCare decided to choose Louisville over Nashville as their corporate headquarters. Now they are looking to expand their presence in Nashville with an investment of a bit over $13 million investment in a new nursing home.
The new facility is to replace two previously closed nursing homes on Wedgewood Avenue, after Signature has acquired their bed licenses. Earlier in December, Signature HealthCare also acquired and renamed a 112-bed nursing home in Portland in Sumner County and changed its profile to treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The construction of the new replacement facility off Wedgewood is expected to start early next year. The new nursing home will have 119 licensed beds and will be Signature HealthCare’s second facility in Nashville, the first being the Donelson Place Care & Rehabilitation Center. It will be the company’s 72nd nursing community. Among these, roughly one third are located in Tennessee.
Steve Fleming, head of mergers and acquisitions at Signature HealthCare, believes there is still a high demand of nursing homes in the Nashville area.
“Our plan is to continue to grow in Nashville and in the state where the option exists.”
The expansion of Signature in the region comes to match the country-wide decline in nursing homes and licensed beds due to the recession and the overall shortage in nursing staff. Only in the state of Tennessee there has been a decline in nursing home beds of about 5 percent in the last decade—from about 39,200 in 2000 to 37,400 nowadays—in the context of a demographic growth of a few percent and an aging population.
However, Ron Taylor, outgoing executive director of the Tennessee Health Care Association, feels that the loss in the number of beds is quite normal and was predictable, since it’s only an adjustment “in the wake of previous overbuilding by the industry.”
Assumptions made a decade or two ago about demand for nursing home care have not proven to be accurate in part because we’ve got a healthier older population than 10 or 20 years ago,” Taylor said. “Therefore, the demand for nursing homes is not as great.
Nevertheless, there is the need of “refreshment” in the state’s nursing homes. Some of the existing ones were built decades ago, and the whole healthcare system is facing an acute aging in the supply of nursing homes.
“There’s going to be more competition for the patient, and newer facilities are going to be more attractive from the standpoint of appearance and … amenities,” Taylor said.