Brent Guerisoli headshot
Brent Guerisoli

Growth in The Pennant Group’s senior living business continued with “impressive progress” in the first quarter, with occupancy growing for the fifth consecutive quarter, executives said Friday.

During a first-quarter earnings call, CEO Brent Guerisoli said the Eagle, ID-based company’s disciplined approach has “produced significant progress in an environment with inflationary headwinds and labor difficulties.”

The company’s locally tailored approach, he added, resulted in continued growth in each of its primary lines of business — senior living and home health / hospice — including achieving same-store senior living occupancy of 79.1%, which was a 370 basis point improvement over the prior year quarter and a 50 basis point improvement sequentially over the fourth quarter of 2022.

Average occupancy in its senior living services segment was 78.1%, a 550 basis point increase over the prior year quarter.

“Improvement is apparent in almost every facet of the business — in the experience of our residents, the caliber of our leaders, the engagement of our employees and the support of our service center partners,” said John Gochnour, president and chief operating officer. “Senior living is becoming a source of strength to our organization, and one that will contribute significantly to the bottom line — with capable leaders, improved occupancy and increased room rents to better reflect the cost of services and care — to have a solid foundation for which to execute throughout the remainder of 2023.”

Pennant’s same-store senior living sector’s financial performance improved to $34.6 million, a 15% increase over the prior year quarter, whereas its overall senior living services segment revenue increased 5.8% over the prior year quarter to $35.4 million.

Guerisoli said that the company is focusing on five key organizational priorities it identified last quarter: leadership development, margin, turnover, growth and clinical excellence.

Leadership development continues to be our top priority,” he said. “We are diligently focused on finding, hiring and developing a robust pipeline of exceptional operational leaders who can optimize the many exciting growth opportunities that lay before us.”

He reiterated the company’s commitment to developing 100 CEOs within the next several years to achieve extraordinary clinical outcomes, culture and growth, as well as to drive significant financial improvement in their operations. CEOs generate $1 million more in annual earnings than executive directors, along with better clinical and cultural outcomes,  Guerisoli said.