The transfer of business and employees of Preferred Family Healthcare in Arkansas continues, according to a memo distributed to employees yesterday.

PFH has been forced to leave the state on account of the sprawling scandal of kickbacks and illegal spending involving former officials of the multi-million-dollar recipient of Medicaid and other federal money for behavioral health agencies. It struck a deal with a Hot Springs nonprofit, Quapaw House, to sell assets here and is working to keep many employees and operations in place.

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Said the memo to employees:

As you know, we have been working to finalize an agreement with Quapaw House, Inc. (QHI) to transition the Arkansas facilities to their company. That agreement has been reached, transferring all Arkansas assets and property, minus PFH’s real estate holdings to QHI effective [DATE]. Simultaneously, we have reached a deal that will allow QHI to use PFH-owned and available leased Arkansas properties in the short term. The leasing agreement includes a plan for QHI to purchase those buildings outright in the next 6 to 12 months.

What this means for you:

• QHI will obtain these assets on or around Oct. 12. QHI leadership is already working to develop an operational integration strategy and will soon provide additional information on the enrollment process for those clients interested in transitioning to QHI.

• In the meantime, to satisfy our agreement with DHS, we will continue our plan to shut down PFH operations in Arkansas. We must ensure our clients are transitioned ahead of our closure. We appreciate your help in referring clients to new providers, which could include QHI, and discharging them ahead of the Oct. 12 deadline.

• We realize there are many questions about future employment with QHI. They have indicated a strong interest in retaining PFH employees and will follow up with individual employees in the days to come as it pertains to career opportunities going forward.

• The retention incentives offered by PFH previously will be honored. This information and other updates will continue to be provided via the internal website: http://pfh.org/arkansas-employees-resources. QHI will also soon be adding a transition page to their website to share details relating to employment opportunities and the overall transition.

We know this is a difficult, evolving process and we thank you for your patience and support as we navigate it together. 

PFH employment in Arkansas has fluctuated over the years, running as high as 800, but dropped below 500 in mid-September.

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UPDATE: Shortly after posting this I received a news release from Quapaw House:

Quapaw House, Inc. (QHI), a Hot Springs-based substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility, and Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) have finalized an agreement to acquire the assets of PFH in the state of Arkansas, according to QHI CEO Casey Bright.

“The agreement has been reached, transferring all Arkansas assets and property, minus PFH’s real estate holdings to QHI effective on or around October 12, 2018,” said Bright. “Simultaneously, we have reached a deal that will allow QHI to use PFH-owned properties, including all the Arkansas clinics and other facilities,” he added.

“Our leadership team is developing an operational integration strategy and will soon provide additional information on the enrollment process for those clients interested in transitioning to QHI,” Bright added.

“As you can imagine, an acquisition of this size will take time to work through,” said Bright. “We are analyzing every facet of their existing operation, taking equipment and facilities inventory, reviewing personnel and most importantly working to help transition the client base to QHI if they choose to do so. We also must work through the process of licensing, credentialing and certification before fully taking over the PFH sites,” he added.

According to Bright, the PFH facilities will be rebranded as QHI facilities.

Quapaw House, Inc., is an accredited substance-abuse rehabilitation and behavioral health facility.