Stoneridge Partners | Celebrates 15th Anniversary Summer 2016Stoneridge Partners | Celebrates 15th Anniversary Summer 2016: As Stoneridge Partners celebrates its 15th anniversary this summer, we would like to share a little about us and our history with our longtime business partners and prospective clients.

Stoneridge Partners began 15 years ago when Founder Don Cummins recognized the need for a brokerage specifically focused on the home health market.

Through Cummins’ leadership and business savvy, Stoneridge Partners has brokered hundreds of home care, hospice and behavioral health transactions. Cummins personally has worked more than 140 deals and continues as a dealmaker today in his ongoing role with the company.

“Don is really easy going, but also very committed to always working on transactions,” says Stoneridge Partners President and CEO Rich Tinsley. “Though there are a lot of deal shops, one of the reasons I came on board is this one has the best reputation. It’s exciting to work with Don. He knows the companies across the country, inside and out.”

Cummins has been called one of the most influential members of the home care and hospice industry by Val Halamandaris, president of the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

Today, Stoneridge Partners continues as the leading broker of home care, hospice and behavioral health businesses. “Not only do we envision a robust future as the industry changes and grows, we do not see any signs of business slowing,” reports Tinsley.

The Early Days

The year was 2001. Previously a licensed pharmacist, Cummins had founded and was operating a general brokerage in Florida that concentrated on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in a variety of industries, including restaurants, manufacturers and more. Years later, Cummins joined a company that specialized in home care M&A. It was here that he saw an opportunity to expand this niche; and, Stoneridge Partners was born.

Stoneridge Partners began as a one-man operation in Ft. Myers, FL. “At the time Stoneridge began, the Interim Payment System (IPS) for Medicare had taken over,” Cummins explains. “This was devastating to the home care industry and thousands went out of business. The average stock price of a public home care company was around $5. Today, it is around $50.”

This was the beginning of the home care movement, particularly relating to Medicare. Cummins continues, “The changes during the early 2000s are not unlike the changes the industry is currently experiencing; only now, instead of one big cut, it is more like death by a thousand cuts… pre-claim reviews, value based purchasing, star ratings, managed care, etc. All present both a challenge and an opportunity.”

The Future of Home Care

As the home care, hospice and behavioral health industries have grown, Stoneridge Partners has expanded to 10 employees, including five dealmakers, and five locations in Ft. Myers, Dallas, Tucson, Baton Rouge and Louisville. Its approach, however, has remained the same: take time to know the clients and understand what they want to achieve. As an established industry expert, this is our approach for every transaction.

“Our team has worked with clients ranging in value from $100,000 to $48 million,” says Tinsley, “and, we see ongoing opportunity given several factors currently driving the market.”

First, demographics are driving healthcare in general and home care specifically. As part of the continuum of care, home care is a natural place for eager investors to explore. This includes new private equity investors who are looking more and more readily at home care acquisition targets.

Second, the fragmented nature of the market means consolidation pressures will continue, offering opportunities for both buyers and sellers. “Continued consolidation is coming down the pike as smaller players are bought and larger players continue to build” reiterates Cummins. “It’s a really fragmented industry and many smaller players are going to drop out.”

Across the home health care landscape, there are roughly 13,000 certified Medicare home care agencies. Among them, about 6,000 are doing less than $1 million in annual Medicare revenue and 10,000 are doing less than $2 million. “The business landscape has changed sharply since the early days, but for the better,” observes Cummins. “The industry has grown, providing opportunities to both companies already in and those looking to enter this marketplace. The market for home care will continue to grow as our nation continues its commitment to the health and well-being of the elderly.”

Ultimately, the industry has strong growth potential; and, Stoneridge Partners will continue to serve in a deal-making capacity with its longtime knowledge and expertise. From public companies to private ones, small to large, our deal-making team has a pulse on the market which it brings to each transaction.