Second Mover in Healthcare Franchising Proves the Trend
Dr. Bruce Irwin, founder of American Family Care, is a pioneer in franchising urgent care clinics. Now his company is also pioneering securing not-for-profit health systems as franchisees.
Well, that didn’t take long. Nurse Next Door, a Vancouver-based home care franchise, announced this week a deal with St. Joseph Health in California, in which the not-for-profit St. Joseph will become a franchisee of a for-profit healthcare brand, and will open 26 franchise territories with an additional 12 as options to build out in the future.
The news crossed my desk the very week I was interviewing American Family Care, one of the Franchise Times Dealmakers winners for 2016. American Family inked a deal last year with Bon Secours Health System, in which Bon Secours bought four units of the urgent care franchise in North Carolina and rights to develop more territory.
This is a first-of-its kind deal, and American Family President Randy Johansen and I were discussing that it’s sure to be the next big thing in retail health care expansion. People in the quick-serve restaurant space, in particular, and other service industries “are interested in diversifying their portfolio of holdings in a fast-growth industry,” says Bill Koleszar of American Family Care. “Those prospective franchisees have been regularly knocking on our doors.”
People in restaurant finance, too, who served as judges to select Dealmakers winners, were intensely interested in the new wrinkle, even if they didn’t yet know too much about it. One judge deemed the health care space an “untapped asset class,” which is sure to pique the interest of financiers. We’ll keep watching and reporting developments in this brand new space.