MISSION VIEJO, California (May 8, 2019) -- The Ensign Group announced this week that it plans to spin off its home health and hospice agencies, as well as most of its senior living businesses, into a publicly-traded company.

In a news release, Ensign said the new wholly-owned subsidiary, called Pennant, would include 60 home health and hospice agencies and 51 senior living operations. Pennant will also operate 28 senior living communities via leases with Ensign subsidiaries. Pennant has applied to list its shares on the NASDAQ stock market with the ticker symbol “PNTG.”

The two companies would be:

  • The Ensign Group, Inc.—transitional and skilled services, rehab care, healthcare campuses, new business ventures in post-acute care, and real estate investments.
  • The Pennant Group, Inc.—Home health, hospice, senior living, mobile diagnostic and clinical laboratory operations.

“Post-acute care is becoming more and more complex,” said Ensign President and CEO Christopher R. Christensen. “We recognized early on in our new business venture experience that it was very important to invest in the right people and systems to give each of these unique operations the resources they require to be the best of the best. To that end, each of the Pennant businesses has successfully developed their own leadership and field-based resources that operate independent of their skilled nursing counterparts. While those efforts have been working very well, we believe that taking this additional step will accelerate both organization’s ability, as two smaller but strong organizations, to quickly adapt to the ever changing needs of our patients, payors and other providers within the continuum of care.”

The Ensign Group includes 253 healthcare facilities, 26 hospice agencies, 25 home health agencies and nine homecare business in 16 states.

Daniel Walker, who will become chairman, CEO and president of Pennant, said in the release that Pennant will keep working to buy more home health agencies, along with hospice and senior living, and to build its mobile x-ray and lab businesses.