Though the city didn't intend to become the leader in the long-term care industry, companies opted to cluster around each other, with Humana the nucleus of the movement. "As its influence grew, the health insurance giant created spinoffs and attracted like-minded businesses, including a growing number of companies dealing with long-term care," Browning writes, without noting that Humana itself began as a nursing-home company, Extendicare, then evolved into a hospital firm and an insurance company.
There are seven key players in theindustry who have headquarters in the city: Kindred Healthcare, Trilogy Health Services, Atria Senior Living Group, Elmcroft Senior Living, ResCare, and Signature Health Care. Those companies then attracted firms such as RecoverCare and PharMerica. "It's been an evolution," Christian Furman, a gerontologist at the University of Louisville medical school, told Browning.
One of the key moves was attracting Signature, which has 73 long-term care facilities in seven states, from Florida to Kentucky. A promise of up to $4 million of corporate income tax credits in 10 years helped, but "access to talent was most important. There's an incredible amount of expertise here," said CEO Joe Steier.
The clincher was "the whole alignment of public and private support, including the University of Louisville, that has made the city into a national and international center for aging care companies," Steier said. (Read more)