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After 10 years, Masonicare, St. Francis go separate ways on home care

BY Joe Cooper

8/15/2018
Contributed photo
Contributed photo
A Masonicare home health nurse with a patient. The company plans to shutter its joint venture with St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center later this year.
Citing shifting competitive interests, two prominent Greater Hartford homecare partners will shutter a joint venture they formed in 2007.

Wallingford-based Masonicare disclosed in a state labor filing that it plans in November to cease operations of Masonicare Partners Home Health and Hospice, which it formed more than 10 years ago with St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, with the latter holding a 35 percent stake.

Since then, St. Francis has become the flagship of a new Connecticut healthcare system, Trinity Health Of New England, forging homecare links in other parts of Connecticut.

Masonicare Partners and Trinity mutually agreed to dissolve the partnership because they now have competing interests, said Margaret Steeves, Masonicare's vice president of marketing and communications. Trinity's network includes its own homecare hospice business.

Trinity didn't respond to a request for comment.

Though its partnership with St. Francis is ending, Masonicare is still very much in the homecare business in Connecticut. The company expects to take on an undisclosed number of Masonicare Partners' patients, while Trinity is expected to take on others, Steeves said.

Masonicare, with other primary businesses in nursing homes, residential living communities and outpatient therapy, has also been operating a homecare network in other areas of Connecticut.

Masonicare Partners' attorney wrote in a letter to the state Department of Labor that the company is unsure how many employees would be affected when it ceases operations Nov. 2.

Steeves said Masonicare Partners has 282 employees and that it plans to retain as many as possible. Its notice to the state did not provide a number of expected layoffs.

In its most recently available nonprofit tax filing on Guidestar.org, Masonicare Partners said it recorded a $640,117 surplus in calendar year 2015 on $26.2 million in total revenue.

Masonicare is planning to launch an advertising campaign next week to reaffirm its commitment to "retain continuity for patients and staff" in the area, Steeves said.