Washington Post Co. Buys Hospice Firm, Why?
The Washington Post Co. announced early monday that it will acquire a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare, a provider of skilled home health-care and hospice services in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions. Obviously this is an odd direction for the news company to go, but could there be benefit for the funeral profession here? Do you think through their news publication they will focus more information on end-of-life care?
The Washington Post Co. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Celtic Healthcare, a provider of skilled home health-care and hospice services in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic regions.
The purchase price was not disclosed, but Donald E. Graham, chief executive of The Washington Post Co., said in a statement that the acquisition is "part of the Post Co.'s ongoing strategy of investing in companies with demonstrated earnings potential and strong management teams attracted to our long-term investment horizon."
Founded in 1996 in Mars, Penn. by Arnie Burchianti, a physical therapist, Celtic Healthcare has nine locations spanning western, central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and Montgomery and Baltimore counties in Maryland. Celtic Healthcare employs proprietary technology and specialized chronic-disease management programs.
Burchianti will continue to run the business as chief executive and co-owner, The Post Co. announced.
Celtic Healthcare relies substantially on funds from Medicare, which provides hospice benefits "for extended periods of time based on the assessment of the patient," according to Celtic's Web site. In its blog last November and again last month, the company posted appeals from health industry groups asking people to lobby Congress to defeat Medicare funding cuts and increases in co-pays.
The Post Co.'s foray into health care takes the company in a new direction. In addition to its flagship newspaper, the company owns Kaplan education businesses, a cable unit and half a dozen local broadcast television stations.
In his statement, Graham said, "We are a diverse group of businesses sharing common goals and values but each with its own identity and workplace culture, and with management responsible for its operations."
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