Diversicare checks out of Arkansas

Despite contract to pick up Midwest facility operations, company's network to fall below 50

Skilled nursing provider Diversicare plans to hand over the operations of a fifth of its network of facilities at the end of this month.

The Brentwood-based company said it has reached an agreement with Omega Health Investors, its landlord for the 11 treatment centers it now operates in Arkansas. Omega will choose another care provider for the facilities, which accounted for 1,053 of the 5,158 beds in Diversicare's network at the end 2012.

"We did not take this decision lightly, but we have concluded that it is in the best interest of Diversicare and its shareholders to focus on our operations in other regions," said CEO Kelly Gill.

The move to exit Arkansas altogether comes a year after Diversicare sold a facility it owned there for $3.6 million. The company said profitability at that center — it posted net income of $171,000 on revenues of $3.5 million last year — wasn't good enough for the company to soldier on.

On the plus side, Gill said his team has taken over the operations of a facility in Louisville and signed an agreement with Catholic Health Partners to assume the management of another center in that MSA as well as three others in Southwestern Ohio.

Shares of Diversicare (Ticker: DVCR)  closed Thursday trading at $5.40, up about 1 percent on the day. They're flat year to date.