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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
 (Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from _____ to _____
Commission file number 001-36181
CareTrust REIT, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Maryland
 
46-3999490
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
905 Calle Amanecer, Suite 300, San Clemente, CA 92673
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (949) 542-3130
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share
CTRE
The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC
 
 
(Nasdaq Global Select Market)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes    No 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes    No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes    No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes    No 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer
Non-accelerated filer
 
Smaller reporting company
 
 
 
Emerging growth company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined by Rule 12b-2 of the Act.) Yes    No 
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter: $2.2 billion.
As of February 19, 2020, there were 95,468,760 shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the definitive Proxy Statement for the registrant’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of fiscal year 2019, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.
 
 
 
 
 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
PART I
Item 1.
Business
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2.
Properties
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity
 
 
Securities
Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8.
Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9.
Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosures
Item 9A.
Controls and Procedures
Item 9B.
Other Information
PART III
Item 10.
Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11.
Executive Compensation
Item 12.
Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13.
Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14.
Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV
Item 15.
Exhibits, Financial Statements and Financial Statement Schedules
Item 16.
10-K Summary
Signatures
 




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STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements in this report may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Those forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical statements of fact and those regarding our intent, belief or expectations, including, but not limited to, statements regarding: future financing plans, business strategies, growth prospects and operating and financial performance; expectations regarding the making of distributions and the payment of dividends; and compliance with and changes in governmental regulations.
Words such as “anticipate(s),” “expect(s),” “intend(s),” “plan(s),” “believe(s),” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “seek(s)” and similar expressions, or the negative of these terms, are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could lead to actual results differing materially from those projected, forecasted or expected. Although we believe that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained. Factors which could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects or which could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations include, but are not limited to: (i) the ability and willingness of our tenants to meet and/or perform their obligations under the triple-net leases we have entered into with them, including without limitation, their respective obligations to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless from and against various claims, litigation and liabilities; (ii) the ability of our tenants to comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations in the operation of the properties we lease to them; (iii) the ability and willingness of our tenants to renew their leases with us upon their expiration, and the ability to reposition our properties on the same or better terms in the event of nonrenewal or in the event we replace an existing tenant, as well as any obligations, including indemnification obligations, we may incur in connection with the replacement of an existing tenant; (iv) the availability of and the ability to identify (a) tenants who meet our credit and operating standards, and (b) suitable acquisition opportunities and the ability to acquire and lease the respective properties to such tenants on favorable terms; (v) the ability to generate sufficient cash flows to service our outstanding indebtedness; (vi) access to debt and equity capital markets; (vii) fluctuating interest rates; (viii) the ability to retain our key management personnel; (ix) the ability to maintain our status as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”); (x) changes in the U.S. tax law and other state, federal or local laws, whether or not specific to REITs; (xi) other risks inherent in the real estate business, including potential liability relating to environmental matters and illiquidity of real estate investments; and (xii) any additional factors included in this report, including in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report, as such risk factors may be amended, supplemented or superseded from time to time by other reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including subsequent Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.
Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report. Except in the normal course of our public disclosure obligations, we expressly disclaim any obligation to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
TENANT INFORMATION
This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes information regarding certain of our tenants that lease properties from us, some of which are not subject to SEC reporting requirements. The Ensign Group, Inc. (“Ensign”) is subject to the reporting requirements of the SEC and is required to file with the SEC annual reports containing audited financial information and quarterly reports containing unaudited financial information. You are encouraged to review Ensign’s publicly available filings, which can be found at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
The information related to our tenants contained or referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K was provided to us by such tenants or derived from SEC filings or other publicly available information. We have not verified this information through an independent investigation or otherwise. We have no reason to believe that this information is inaccurate in any material respect, but we cannot provide any assurance of its accuracy. We are providing this data for informational purposes only.


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PART I
All references in this report to “CareTrust REIT,” the “Company,” “we,” “us” or “our” mean CareTrust REIT, Inc. together with its consolidated subsidiaries. Unless the context suggests otherwise, references to “CareTrust REIT, Inc.” mean the parent company without its subsidiaries.
ITEM  1.
Business
Our Company
CareTrust REIT is a self-administered, publicly-traded REIT engaged in the ownership, acquisition, development and leasing of skilled nursing, seniors housing and other healthcare-related properties. CareTrust REIT was formed on October 29, 2013 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ensign with the intent to hold substantially all of Ensign’s real estate business, and became a separate and independent publicly-traded company on June 1, 2014 following the pro rata distribution of the outstanding shares of CareTrust REIT common stock to Ensign’s stockholders (the “Spin-Off”). As of December 31, 2019, CareTrust REIT’s real estate portfolio consisted of 216 skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”), multi-service campuses, assisted living facilities (“ALFs”) and independent living facilities (“ILFs”). Of these properties, 85 are leased to Ensign on a triple-net basis under multiple long-term leases (each, an “Ensign Master Lease” and, collectively, the “Ensign Master Leases”) that have cross default provisions and are all guaranteed by Ensign. In addition, Ensign provides a guaranty on 11 properties that are leased to The Pennant Group, Inc. (“Pennant”) on a triple net basis under one long-term lease (the “Pennant Master Lease”). As of December 31, 2019, the 85 facilities leased to Ensign had a total of 8,908 beds and units and are located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington, the 11 facilities leased to Pennant had a total of 1,151 beds and units and are located in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Washington and the 120 remaining leased facilities had a total of 11,904 beds and units and are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. We also own and operate one ILF which had a total of 168 units and is located in Texas. As of December 31, 2019, we also had other real estate investments consisting of one preferred equity investment totaling $3.8 million and two mortgage loans receivable with a carrying value of $29.5 million.
From January 1, 2019 through February 20, 2020, we acquired eighteen skilled nursing facilities, four multi-service campuses and two assisted living facilities for approximately $352.8 million, which includes capitalized acquisition costs. These acquisitions are expected to generate initial annual cash revenues of approximately $31.4 million and an initial blended yield of approximately 8.9%.
We generate revenues primarily by leasing healthcare-related properties to healthcare operators in triple-net lease arrangements, under which the tenant is solely responsible for the costs related to the property (including property taxes, insurance, maintenance and repair costs and capital expenditures, subject to certain exceptions in the case of properties leased to Ensign). We also extend secured mortgage loans to healthcare operators, secured by healthcare-related properties. We conduct and manage our business as one operating segment for internal reporting and internal decision making purposes. We expect to grow our portfolio by pursuing opportunities to acquire additional properties that will be leased to a diverse group of local, regional and national healthcare providers, which may include Ensign and other skilled nursing operators, as well as senior housing operators and related businesses. We also anticipate diversifying our portfolio over time, including by acquiring properties in different geographic markets, and in different asset classes.
We elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. We believe that we have been organized and have operated, and we intend to continue to operate, in a manner to qualify for taxation as a REIT. We operate through an umbrella partnership, commonly referred to as an UPREIT structure, in which substantially all of our properties and assets are held through CTR Partnership, L.P. (the “Operating Partnership”). The Operating Partnership is managed by CareTrust REIT’s wholly owned subsidiary, CareTrust GP, LLC, which is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership. To maintain REIT status, we must meet a number of organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that we annually distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the dividends paid deduction and excluding any net capital gains.





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Our Industry
The skilled nursing industry has evolved to meet the growing demand for post-acute and custodial healthcare services generated by an aging population, increasing life expectancies and the trend toward shifting of patient care to lower cost settings. We believe this evolution has led to a number of favorable improvements in the industry, as described below:
 
Shift of Patient Care to Lower Cost Alternatives.  The growth of the senior population in the United States continues to increase healthcare costs. In response, federal and state governments have adopted cost-containment measures that encourage the treatment of patients in more cost-effective settings such as SNFs, for which the staffing requirements and associated costs are often significantly lower than acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities and other post-acute care settings. As a result, SNFs are generally serving a larger population of higher-acuity patients than in the past. The same trend is impacting ALFs, which are now generally serving some patients who previously would have received services at SNFs.
Significant Acquisition and Consolidation Opportunities. The skilled nursing industry is large and highly fragmented, characterized predominantly by numerous local and regional providers. We believe this fragmentation provides significant acquisition and consolidation opportunities for us.
Widening Supply and Demand Imbalance. The number of SNFs has declined modestly over the past several years. According to the American Health Care Association, the nursing home industry was comprised of approximately 15,700 facilities as of December 2016, as compared with over 16,700 facilities as of December 2000. As of January 29, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Medicare.gov website reported a total of 15,454 SNFs in the United States. We expect that the supply/demand imbalance in the skilled nursing industry will increasingly favor skilled nursing and assisted living providers due to the shift of patient care to lower cost settings, an aging population and increasing life expectancies.
Increased Demand Driven by Aging Populations and Increased Life Expectancy. As life expectancy continues to increase in the United States and seniors account for a higher percentage of the total U.S. population, we believe the overall demand for skilled nursing services will increase. At present, the primary market demographic for skilled nursing services is individuals age 75 and older. The 2017 U.S. Census reported that there were over 49.2 million people in the United States in 2016 over the age of 65. The 2017 U.S. Census estimates this group to be one of the fastest growing segments of the United States population, projecting that it will almost double between 2016 and 2060. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, nursing home care facilities and continuing care retirement expenditures are projected to grow from approximately $166 billion in 2017 to approximately $270 billion in 2027, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 5.0%. We believe that these trends will support an increasing demand for skilled nursing services, which in turn will likely support an increasing demand for the services provided within our properties.
Portfolio Summary
We have a geographically diverse portfolio of properties, consisting of the following types:
Skilled Nursing Facilities. SNFs are licensed healthcare facilities that provide restorative, rehabilitative and nursing care for people not requiring the more extensive and sophisticated treatment available at acute care hospitals. Treatment programs include physical, occupational, speech, respiratory and other therapies, including sub-acute clinical protocols such as wound care and intravenous drug treatment. Charges for these services are generally paid from a combination of government reimbursement and private sources. As of December 31, 2019, our portfolio included 176 SNFs, 18 of which are located on campuses that also have assisted or independent living operations, which we refer to as multi-service campuses.
Assisted Living Facilities. ALFs are licensed healthcare facilities that provide personal care services, support and housing for those who need help with activities of daily living, such as bathing, eating and dressing, yet require limited medical care. The programs and services may include transportation, social activities, exercise and fitness programs, beauty or barber shop access, hobby and craft activities, community excursions, meals in a dining room setting and other activities sought by residents. These facilities are often apartment-like buildings with private residences ranging from single rooms to large apartments. Certain ALFs may offer higher levels of personal assistance for residents requiring memory care as a result of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The level of personal assistance that may be provided at ALFs is based in part on state regulations. Since states often apply differing license classifications, and standards, regulatory requirements may differ significantly between states. As of December 31, 2019, our portfolio included 38 ALFs, some of which also contain independent living and memory care units.

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Independent Living Facilities. ILFs, also known as retirement communities or senior apartments, are not healthcare facilities and are not licensed to provide healthcare services to residents. The facilities typically consist of entirely self-contained apartments, complete with their own kitchens, baths and individual living spaces, as well as parking for tenant vehicles. They are most often rented unfurnished, and generally can be personalized by the tenants, typically an individual or a couple over the age of 55. These facilities offer various services and amenities such as laundry, housekeeping, dining options/meal plans, exercise and wellness programs, transportation, social, cultural and recreational activities, on-site security and emergency response programs. As of December 31, 2019, our portfolio of three ILFs included two that are operated by Ensign and one that is operated by us.
Our portfolio of SNFs, ALFs and ILFs is broadly diversified by geographic location throughout the United States, with concentrations in Texas, California, and Louisiana.
Significant Master Leases
We have leased a significant number of our properties to subsidiaries of Ensign pursuant to the Ensign Master Leases, which consist of eight triple-net leases, each with its own pool of properties, that have varying maturities and diversity in both property type and geography. The Ensign Master Leases provide for initial terms in excess of ten years with staggered expiration dates and no purchase options. At Ensign’s option, each Ensign Master Lease may be extended for up to three five year renewal terms beyond the initial term and, if elected, the renewal will be effective for all of the leased property then subject to the applicable Ensign Master Lease. The rent is a fixed component that was initially set near the time of the Spin-Off. As of December 31, 2019, the annualized revenues from the Ensign Master Leases were $53.4 million. The Ensign Master Leases are guaranteed by Ensign.
On October 1, 2019, Ensign completed its previously announced separation of its home health and hospice operations and substantially all of its senior living operations into a separate independent publicly traded company through the distribution of shares of Pennant common stock (the “Pennant Spin”). As a result of the Pennant Spin, on October 1, 2019, the Company amended the Ensign Master Leases to lease 85 facilities to subsidiaries of Ensign, which have a total of 8,908 operational beds, and entered into the Pennant Master Lease to lease 11 facilities, which have a total of 1,151 operational beds. The contractual initial annual cash rent under the Pennant Master Lease is approximately $7.8 million. The Pennant Master Lease carries an initial term of 15 years, with two five-year renewal options and CPI-based rent escalators. The contractual annual cash rent under the amended Ensign Master Leases was reduced by approximately $7.8 million. Ensign has guaranteed the Pennant Master Lease. If Pennant achieves a specified portfolio coverage ratio and continuously maintains it for a specified period, Ensign’s obligations under the guaranty with respect to the Pennant facilities would be released. As of December 31, 2019 Ensign and Pennant represented 32% and 5%, respectively, of the Company’s contractual rental income, exclusive of operating expense reimbursements, on an annualized run-rate basis.
As of December 31, 2019, 15 of our properties were leased to subsidiaries of Priority Management Group (“PMG”) on a triple-net basis under one long-term lease (the “PMG Master Lease”), and have a total of 2,145 operational beds. The PMG Master Lease commenced on December 1, 2016, and provides an initial term of fifteen years, with two five-year renewal options. As of December 31, 2019, PMG represented 16% of the Company’s contractual rental income, exclusive of operating expense reimbursements, on an annualized run-rate basis.
The Ensign Master Leases account for a substantial portion of our revenues, and Ensign’s financial condition and ability and willingness to (i) satisfy its obligations under the Ensign Master Leases, (ii) renew the Ensign Master Leases upon expiration of the initial base terms thereof, and (iii) satisfy its guaranty obligations under the Pennant Master Lease, significantly impacts our revenues and our ability to service our indebtedness and to make distributions to our stockholders. There can be no assurance that Ensign has sufficient assets, income and access to financing to enable it to satisfy its obligations under the Ensign Master Leases or its guaranty of the Pennant Master Lease, and any inability or unwillingness on its part to do so would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity, on our ability to service our indebtedness and other obligations and on our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders, as required for us to qualify, and maintain our status, as a REIT. We also cannot assure you that Ensign will elect to renew the Ensign Master Leases with us upon expiration of the initial base terms or any renewal terms thereof or, if such leases are not renewed, that we can reposition the affected properties on the same or better terms. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business - We are dependent on Ensign and other healthcare operators to make payments to us under leases, and an event that materially and adversely affects their business, financial position or results of operations could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position or results of operations.”


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We monitor the creditworthiness of our tenants by evaluating the ability of the tenants to meet their lease obligations to us based on the tenants’ financial performance, including the evaluation of any guarantees of tenant lease obligations. The primary basis for our evaluation of the credit quality of our tenants (and more specifically the tenants’ ability to pay their rent obligations to us) is the tenants’ lease coverage ratios. These coverage ratios compare (i) earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent (“EBITDAR”) to rent coverage, and (ii) earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization, rent and management fees (“EBITDARM”), to rent coverage. We utilize a standardized 5% management fee when we calculate lease coverage ratios. We obtain various financial and operational information from our tenants each month. We regularly review this information to calculate the above-described coverage metrics, to identify operational trends, to assess the operational and financial impact of the changes in the broader industry environment (including the potential impact of government reimbursement and regulatory changes), and to evaluate the management and performance of the tenant’s operations. These metrics help us identify potential areas of concern relative to our tenants’ credit quality and ultimately the tenants’ ability to generate sufficient liquidity to meet their ongoing obligations, including their obligations to continue paying contractual rents due to us and satisfying other financial obligations to third parties, as prescribed by our triple-net leases.
In addition, we actively monitor the clinical, regulatory and financial operating results of our tenants, and work to identify opportunities within their operations and markets that could improve their operating results at our facilities. We communicate such observations to our tenants; however, we have no contractual obligation to do so. Moreover, our tenants have sole discretion with respect to the day-to-day operation of the facilities they lease from us, and how and whether to implement any observation we may share with them. We also periodically monitor the overall financial and operating strength of our operators. We have replaced tenants in the past, and may elect to replace tenants in the future, if they fail to meet the terms and conditions of their leases with us. The replacement operators may include operators with whom we have had no prior landlord-tenant relationship as well as current tenants with whom we are comfortable expanding our relationships. We have also provided select operators with strategic capital for facility upkeep and modernization, as well as short-term working capital loans when they are awaiting licensure and certification or conducting turnaround work in one or more of our properties, and we may continue to do so in the future. In addition, we periodically reassess the investments we have made and the operator relationships we have entered into, and have selectively disposed of facilities or investments, or terminated such relationships, and we expect to continue making such reassessments and, where appropriate, taking such actions.




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Properties by Type:
The following table displays the geographic distribution of our facilities by property type and the related number of beds and units available for occupancy by asset class, as of December 31, 2019. The number of beds or units that are operational may be less than the official licensed capacity.
 
 
Total(1)
 
SNFs
 
Multi-Service Campuses
 
ALFs and ILFs(1)
State
 
Properties
Beds/Units
 
Facilities
Beds
 
Campuses
Beds/Units
 
Facilities
Beds/Units
 TX
 
38

4,725

 
32

3,960

 
2

355

 
4

410

 CA
 
34

4,015

 
25

2,847

 
4

759

 
5

409

 ID
 
16

1,358

 
15

1,289

 
1

69

 


 IA
 
15

986

 
13

815

 
2

171

 


 OH
 
13

1,270

 
9

720

 
4

550

 


 WA
 
12

1,080

 
11

980

 


 
1

100

 UT
 
12

1,306

 
10

1,179

 


 
2

127

 AZ
 
11

1,328

 
8

962

 


 
3

366

 MI
 
10

669

 
6

480

 


 
4

189

 IL
 
8

772

 
7

644

 
1

128

 


 LA
 
8

1,164

 
7

949

 
1

215

 


 CO
 
7

785

 
5

522

 


 
2

263

 NE
 
5

366

 
3

220

 
2

146

 


 VA
 
5

279

 


 


 
5

279

 FL
 
4

404

 


 


 
4

404

 NV
 
3

304

 
1

92

 


 
2

212

 WI
 
3

206

 


 


 
3

206

 NC
 
2

100

 


 


 
2

100

 MN
 
2

62

 


 


 
2

62

 MT
 
1

100

 
1

100

 


 


 IN
 
1

162

 


 


 
1

162

 NM
 
1

136

 
1

136

 


 


 MD
 
1

120

 


 


 
1

120

 GA
 
1

105

 
1

105

 


 


 OR
 
1

53

 
1

53

 


 


 SD
 
1

99

 
1

99

 


 


 ND
 
1

110

 
1

110

 


 


 WV
 
1

67

 


 
1

67

 


Total
 
217

22,131

 
158

16,262

 
18

2,460

 
41

3,409

 
(1) ALFs and ILFs include ALFs or ILFs, or a combination of the two, operated by our tenants and one ILF operated by us.
















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Occupancy by Property Type:
The following table displays occupancy by property type for each of the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018. Percentage occupancy in the below table is computed by dividing the average daily number of beds occupied by the total number of beds available for use during the periods indicated (beds of acquired facilities are included in the computation following the date of acquisition only).
 
Year Ended December 31,
Property Type
2019
2018
Facilities Leased to Tenants: (1)
 
 
     SNFs
78
%
77
%
     Multi-Service Campuses
76
%
77
%
     ALFs and ILFs
83
%
84
%
Facilities Operated by CareTrust REIT:(2)
 
 
     ILFs
89
%
83
%
 
(1)
Occupancy data derived solely from information provided by our tenants without independent verification by us. The leased facility financial performance data is presented one quarter in arrears.
(2)
As of December 31, 2019, we owned and operated one ILF. Occupancy data for the year ended December 31, 2019 includes the one ILF owned and operated. Occupancy data for the year ended December 31, 2018 includes the three ILFs owned and operated.
 
Property Type - Rental Income:
The following tables display the annual rental income and total beds/units for each property type leased to third-party tenants for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018.
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2019
Property Type
Rental Income
(in thousands)
Percent
of Total 
Total Beds/
Units 
SNFs
$
115,362

74
%
16,262

Multi-Service Campuses
18,109

12
%
2,460

ALFs and ILFs
22,196

14
%
3,241

Total(1)
$
155,667

100
%
21,963


 (1)
Due to the adoption of the new lease accounting standards updates (the “new lease ASUs”) on January 1, 2019, the assessment of collectibility of our tenant receivables includes a binary assessment of whether or not substantially all of the amounts due under a tenant’s lease agreement are probable of collection. Tenant receivables written off for leases determined to be not probable of collection are recorded as decreases through rental income on our consolidated income statements. Additionally, tenant recoveries for real estate taxes are recognized to the extent that we pay the third party directly and classified as rental income on our consolidated income statements. See Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies for further details.

 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2018
Property Type
Rental Income
(in thousands)
Percent
of Total 
Total Beds/
Units 
SNFs
$
102,555

73
%
13,698

Multi-Service Campuses
15,543

11
%
2,521

ALFs and ILFs
21,975

16
%
2,867

Total
$
140,073

100
%
19,086


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Geographic Concentration - Rental Income:
The following table displays the geographic distribution of annual rental income for properties leased to third-party tenants for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 (in thousands, except percentages).
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2019
 
For the Year Ended December 31, 2018
State 
Rental Income(1)
Percent of Total 
 
Rental Income
Percent of Total 
CA
$
35,297

23
%
 
$
26,897

19
%
TX
32,364

21
%
 
26,567

19
%
LA
15,880

10
%
 

%
AZ
12,461

8
%
 
9,125

7
%
ID
11,717

8
%
 
10,770

8
%
UT
6,740

4
%
 
6,125

4
%
MI
6,007

4
%
 
6,004

4
%
CO
5,485

4
%
 
4,192

3
%
WA
5,145

3
%
 
6,353

5
%
IL
4,725

3
%
 
3,792

3
%
VA
3,171

2
%
 
3,137

2
%
IA
2,815

2
%
 
5,805

4
%
WI
2,535

2
%
 
2,850

2
%
NV
2,091

1
%
 
1,038

1
%
NC
1,097

1
%
 
1,069

1
%
NM
987

1
%
 
1,046

1
%
OH
964

1
%
 
17,300

12
%
NE
956

1
%
 
1,396

1
%
SD
886

1
%
 
395

%
IN
760

%
 
937

1
%
MN
577

%
 
1,275

1
%
MT
550

%
 
495

%
FL
550

%
 
1,527

1
%
GA
485

%
 
880

1
%
ND
433

%
 
80

%
WV
384

%
 
115

%
OR
376

%
 
368

%
MD
229

%
 
535

%
Total
$
155,667

100
%
 
$
140,073

100
%
 
 (1)
Due to the adoption of the new lease ASUs on January 1, 2019, the assessment of collectibility of our tenant receivables includes a binary assessment of whether or not substantially all of the amounts due under a tenant’s lease agreement are probable of collection. Tenant receivables written off for leases determined to be not probable of collection are recorded as decreases through rental income on our consolidated income statements. Additionally, tenant recoveries for real estate taxes are recognized to the extent that we pay the third party directly and classified as rental income on our consolidated income statements. See Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies for further details.

ILFs Operated by CareTrust REIT:

As of December 31, 2019, we owned and operated one ILF, Lakeland Hills Independent Living, located in Dallas, Texas, with 168 units. We also previously owned and operated two additional ILFs-The Cottages at Golden Acres, located in Dallas, Texas, with 39 units, and The Apartments at St. Joseph Villa, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, with 57 units. During the quarter ended December 31, 2019, we leased one ILF to Ensign concurrently with the Pennant Spin and sold one ILF to a third party, leaving us with one owned and operated ILF.
Investment and Financing Policies
Our investment objectives are to increase cash flow, provide quarterly cash dividends, maximize the value of our properties and acquire properties with cash flow growth potential. We intend to invest primarily in SNFs and seniors housing,

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including ALFs and ILFs, although we may determine in the future to expand our investments to include medical office buildings, long-term acute care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Our properties are located in 28 states and we intend to continue to acquire properties in other states throughout the United States. Although our portfolio currently consists primarily of owned real property, future investments may include first mortgages, mezzanine debt and other securities issued by, or joint ventures with, REITs or other entities that own real estate consistent with our investment objectives.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe that our ability to acquire, integrate and improve facilities is a direct result of the following key competitive strengths:
Geographically Diverse Property Portfolio. Our properties are located in 28 different states, with concentrations in Texas, California and Louisiana. The properties in any one state do not account for more than 21% of our total beds and units as of December 31, 2019. We believe this geographic diversification will limit the effect of changes in any one market on our overall performance.
Long-Term, Triple-Net Lease Structure. All of our properties (except for the one ILF that we own and operate) are leased to our tenants under long-term, triple-net leases, pursuant to which the operators are responsible for all facility maintenance and repair, insurance required in connection with the leased properties and the business conducted on the leased properties, taxes levied on or with respect to the leased properties and all utilities and other services necessary or appropriate for the leased properties and the business conducted on the leased properties.
 
Financially Secure Primary Tenant. Ensign is an established provider of healthcare services with strong financial performance and accounted for 38% of our 2019 rental income, exclusive of operating expense reimbursements. Ensign is subject to the reporting requirements of the SEC and is required to file with the SEC annual reports containing audited financial information and quarterly reports containing unaudited financial information. Ensign’s publicly available filings can be found at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.
Ability to Identify Talented Operators. We have purchased 130 properties since the Spin-Off through December 31, 2019 and have increased total rental revenue from $41.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, the last full fiscal year prior to the Spin-Off, to $155.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, which has resulted in a reduction in Ensign’s share of our rental revenues from 100% for the year ended December 31, 2013 to approximately 38% for the year ended December 31, 2019, in each case exclusive of operating expense reimbursements and for the year ended December 31, 2019, excluding the properties leased to Pennant pursuant to the Pennant Master Lease that is guaranteed by Ensign. As a result of our management team’s operating experience and network of relationships and insight, we believe that we are able to identify and pursue working relationships with qualified local, regional and national healthcare providers and seniors housing operators. We expect to continue our disciplined focus on pursuing investment opportunities, primarily with respect to stabilized assets but also some strategic investment in new and/or improving properties, while seeking dedicated and engaged operators who possess local market knowledge, have solid operating records and emphasize quality services and outcomes. We intend to support these operators by providing strategic capital for facility acquisition, upkeep and modernization. Our management team’s experience gives us a key competitive advantage in objectively evaluating an operator’s financial position, care and service programs, operating efficiencies and likely business prospects.
Experienced Management Team. Gregory K. Stapley, our President and Chief Executive Officer, has extensive experience in the real estate and healthcare industries. Mr. Stapley has more than 30 years of experience in the acquisition, development and disposition of real estate including healthcare facilities and office, retail and industrial properties, including nearly 15 years at Ensign where he was instrumental in assembling the portfolio that we now lease back to Ensign. Our Chief Financial Officer, William M. Wagner, has more than 25 years of accounting and finance experience, primarily in real estate, including more than 15 years of experience working extensively for REITs. Most notably, he worked for both Nationwide Health Properties, Inc., a healthcare REIT, and Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., a lodging REIT, serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of each company prior to joining us as our Chief Financial Officer. David M. Sedgwick, our Chief Operating Officer, is a licensed nursing home administrator with more than 14 years of experience in skilled nursing operations, including turnaround operations, and trained over 100 Ensign nursing home administrators while he was Ensign’s Chief Human Capital Officer. Mark Lamb, our Chief Investment Officer, is a licensed nursing home administrator with more than six years serving as administrator of healthcare facilities for Plum Healthcare and North American Healthcare, Inc. and more than eight years serving in acquisition and portfolio management capacities for various entities. Our executives have years of public company experience, including experience accessing both debt and equity capital markets to fund growth and maintain a flexible capital structure.

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Flexible UPREIT Structure. We operate through an umbrella partnership, commonly referred to as an UPREIT structure, in which substantially all of our properties and assets are held through the Operating Partnership. Conducting business through the Operating Partnership will allow us flexibility in the manner in which we structure the acquisition of properties. In particular, an UPREIT structure enables us to acquire additional properties from sellers in exchange for limited partnership units, which provides property owners the opportunity to defer the tax consequences that would otherwise arise from a sale of their real properties and other assets to us. As a result, this structure allows us to acquire assets in a more efficient manner and may allow us to acquire assets that the owner would otherwise be unwilling to sell because of tax considerations.
Business Strategies
Our primary goal is to create long-term stockholder value through the payment of consistent cash dividends and the growth of our asset base. To achieve this goal, we intend to pursue a business strategy focused on opportunistic acquisitions and property diversification. We also intend to further develop our relationships with tenants and healthcare providers with a goal to progressively expand the mixture of tenants managing and operating our properties.
The key components of our business strategies include:
Diversify Asset Portfolio. We diversify through the acquisition of new and existing facilities from third parties and the expansion and upgrade of current facilities and strategically investing in new developments with options to acquire the developments at stabilization. We employ what we believe to be a disciplined, opportunistic acquisition strategy with a focus on the acquisition of SNFs, ALFs and ILFs, and we may determine in the future to expand our acquisitions to include medical office buildings, long-term acute care hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. As we acquire additional properties, we expect to further diversify by geography, asset class and tenant within the healthcare and healthcare-related sectors.
 
Maintain Balance Sheet Strength and Liquidity. We maintain a capital structure that provides the resources and flexibility to support the growth of our business. We intend to maintain a mix of credit facility debt, unsecured debt and possibly secured mortgage debt, which, together with our anticipated ability to complete future equity financings, including issuances of our common stock via registered public offerings or under an at-the-market equity program, we expect will fund the growth of our property portfolio.
Develop New Tenant Relationships. We cultivate new relationships with tenants and healthcare providers in order to expand the mix of tenants operating our properties and, in doing so, to reduce our dependence on Ensign. We expect that this objective will be achieved over time as part of our overall strategy to acquire new properties and further diversify our portfolio of healthcare properties.
Provide Capital to Underserved Operators. We believe there is a significant opportunity to be a capital source to healthcare operators, through the acquisition and leasing of healthcare properties to them that are consistent with our investment and financing strategy at appropriate risk-adjusted rates of return, which, due to size and other considerations, are not a focus for larger healthcare REITs. We pursue acquisitions and strategic opportunities that meet our investing and financing strategy and that are attractively priced, including funding development of properties through preferred equity or construction loans and thereafter entering into sale and leaseback arrangements with such developers as well as other secured term financing and mezzanine lending. We utilize our management team’s operating experience, network of relationships and industry insight to identify both large and small quality operators in need of capital funding for future growth. In appropriate circumstances, we may negotiate with operators to acquire individual healthcare properties from those operators and then lease those properties back to the operators pursuant to long-term triple-net leases.
Fund Strategic Capital Improvements. We support operators by providing capital to them for a variety of purposes, including capital expenditures and facility modernization. We expect to structure these investments as either lease amendments that produce additional rents or as loans that are repaid by operators during the applicable lease term.
Pursue Strategic Development Opportunities. We work with operators and developers to identify strategic development opportunities. These opportunities may involve replacing or renovating facilities that may have become less competitive. We also identify new development opportunities that present attractive risk-adjusted returns. We may provide funding to the developer of a property in conjunction with entering into a sale leaseback transaction or an option to enter into a sale leaseback transaction for the property.

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Competition
We compete for real property investments with other REITs, investment companies, private equity and hedge fund investors, sovereign funds, pension funds, healthcare operators, lenders and other institutional investors. Some of these competitors are significantly larger and have greater financial resources and lower costs of capital than us. Increased competition will make it more challenging to identify and successfully capitalize on acquisition opportunities that meet our investment objectives. Our ability to compete is also impacted by national and local economic trends, availability of investment alternatives, availability and cost of capital, construction and renovation costs, existing laws and regulations, new legislation and population trends.
In addition, revenues from our properties are dependent on the ability of our tenants and operators to compete with other healthcare operators. Healthcare operators compete on a local and regional basis for residents and patients and their ability to successfully attract and retain residents and patients depends on key factors such as the number of facilities in the local market, the types of services available, the quality of care, reputation, age and appearance of each facility and the cost of care in each locality. Private, federal and state payment programs and the effect of other laws and regulations may also have a significant impact on the ability of our tenants and operators to compete successfully for residents and patients at the properties.
 
Employees
We employ approximately 52 employees (including our executive officers), none of whom is subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

Government Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement
Overview
As operators of healthcare facilities, tenants of our healthcare properties are typically subject to extensive and complex federal, state and local healthcare laws and regulations relating to fraud and abuse practices, government reimbursement, licensure and certificate of need and similar laws governing the operation of healthcare facilities, and we expect that the healthcare industry, in general, will continue to face increased regulation and pressure in the areas of fraud, waste and abuse, cost control, healthcare management and provision of services, among others. These regulations are wide-ranging and can subject our tenants to civil, criminal and administrative sanctions. Affected tenants may find it increasingly difficult and costly to comply with this complex and evolving regulatory environment because of a relative lack of guidance in many areas as certain of our healthcare properties are subject to oversight from several government agencies and the laws may vary from one jurisdiction to another. Changes in laws and regulations and reimbursement enforcement activity and regulatory non-compliance by our tenants could have a significant effect on their operations and financial condition, which in turn may adversely affect us, as detailed below and set forth under “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business.”
The following is a discussion of certain laws and regulations generally applicable to operators of our healthcare facilities and, in certain cases, to us.
Fraud and Abuse Enforcement
There are various extremely complex federal and state laws and regulations governing healthcare providers’ relationships and arrangements and prohibiting fraudulent and abusive practices by such providers. These laws include, but are not limited to, (i) federal and state false claims acts, which, among other things, prohibit providers from filing false claims or making false statements to receive payment from Medicare, Medicaid or other federal or state healthcare programs, (ii) federal and state anti-kickback and fee-splitting statutes, including the Medicare and Medicaid anti-kickback statute, which prohibit the payment or receipt of remuneration to induce referrals or recommendations of healthcare items or services, (iii) federal and state physician self-referral laws (including the federal law commonly referred to as the “Stark Law”), which generally prohibit referrals by physicians to entities with which the physician or an immediate family member has a financial relationship, and (iv) the federal Civil Monetary Penalties Law, which prohibits, among other things, the knowing presentation of a false or fraudulent claim for certain healthcare services. Violations of healthcare fraud and abuse laws carry civil, criminal and administrative sanctions, including punitive sanctions, monetary penalties, imprisonment, denial of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and potential exclusion from Medicare, Medicaid or other federal or state healthcare programs. These laws are enforced by a variety of federal, state and local agencies and can also be enforced by private litigants through, among other things, federal and state false claims acts, which allow private litigants to bring qui tam or “whistleblower” actions. Ensign and our other tenants are (and many of our future tenants are expected to be) subject to these laws, and some of them may in the future become the subject of governmental enforcement actions if they fail to comply with applicable laws.

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State and Federal “Fraud and Abuse” Laws and Regulations. The Medicare and Medicaid anti-fraud and abuse amendments to the Social Security Act (the “Anti-Kickback Law”) make it a felony, subject to certain exceptions, to engage in illegal remuneration arrangements with vendors, physicians and other health care providers for the referral of Medicare beneficiaries or Medicaid recipients. When a violation occurs, the government may proceed criminally or civilly. If the government proceeds criminally, a violation is a felony and may result in imprisonment for up to five years, fines of up to $25,000 and mandatory exclusion from participation in all federal health care programs. If the government proceeds civilly, it may impose a civil monetary penalty of $50,000 per violation and an assessment of not more than three times the total amount of remuneration involved, and it may exclude the parties from participation in all federal health care programs. Violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute also serve as a basis for federal False Claims Act cases. Many states have enacted laws similar to, and in some cases broader than, the Anti-Kickback Law.
The scope of prohibited payments in the Anti-Kickback Law is broad. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has promulgated regulations which describe certain “safe harbor” arrangements that will not be deemed to constitute violations of the Anti-Kickback Law. An arrangement that fits squarely into a safe harbor is immune from prosecution under the Anti-Kickback Statute. The safe harbors described in the regulations are narrow and do not cover a wide range of economic relationships which many SNFs, physicians and other health care providers consider to be legitimate business arrangements not prohibited by the statute. Because the regulations describe safe harbors and do not purport to describe comprehensively all lawful and unlawful economic arrangements or other relationships between health care providers and referral sources, health care providers entering into these arrangements or relationships may be required to alter them in order to ensure compliance with the Anti-Kickback Law and may be subject to significant liability should an arrangement that does not fully satisfy a safe harbor be determined to be illegal.
Restrictions on Referrals. The federal physician self-referral law and its implementing regulations (commonly referred to as the “Stark Law”) prohibits providers of “designated health services” from billing Medicare or Medicaid if the patient is referred by a physician (or his/her immediate family member) with a financial relationship with the entity, unless an exception applies. “Designated health services” include clinical laboratory services; physical therapy services; occupational therapy services; outpatient speech-language pathology; radiology services, including magnetic resonance imaging, computerized axial tomography scans, and ultrasound services; radiation therapy services and supplies; durable medical equipment and services; parenteral and enteral nutrients, equipment and services; prosthetics, orthotics, and prosthetic devices and supplies; home health services; outpatient prescription drugs; and inpatient and outpatient hospital services. The Stark Law also prohibits the furnishing entity from submitting a claim for reimbursement or otherwise billing Medicare or any other person or entity for improperly referred designated health services. Many designated health services are commonly provided in SNFs and ALFs.
An entity that submits a claim for reimbursement in violation of the Stark Law must refund any amounts collected and may be: (1) subject to a civil penalty of up to $15,000 for each self-referred service; and (2) excluded from participation in federal health care programs. In addition, a physician or entity that has participated in a “scheme” to circumvent the operation of the Stark Law is subject to a civil penalty of up to $100,000 and possible exclusion from participation in federal health care programs.
CMS established a new voluntary self-disclosure program in 2017 under which health care facilities and other entities may report Stark violations and seek a reduction in potential refund obligations. However, the program is relatively new and therefore it is difficult to determine at this time whether it will provide significant monetary relief to health care facilities that discover inadvertent Stark Law violations. Many states have adopted laws similar to the Stark Law. The scope of those laws vary.
 
Reimbursement
Sources of revenue for our tenants include (and for our future tenants is expected to include), among other sources, governmental healthcare programs, such as the federal Medicare program and state Medicaid programs, and non-governmental payors, such as insurance carriers and health maintenance organizations. As federal and state governments focus on healthcare reform initiatives, and as the federal government and many states face significant budget deficits, efforts to reduce costs by these payors will likely continue, which may result in reduced or slower growth in reimbursement for certain services provided by Ensign and our other tenants. Federal and state authorities are likely to continue to implement new and modified reimbursement methodologies, including value-based methodologies, that could have a negative impact on our tenants. Such changes to reimbursement methodologies could have a material impact on our tenants and we cannot provide assurances that the current revenue levels will be maintained under any future reimbursement arrangements. In addition, the impact of other

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health care reform efforts, such as “Medicare for all”, are impossible to predict. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business - The impact of healthcare reform legislation on us and our tenants cannot accurately be predicted.”

Increased Government Oversight of Skilled Nursing Facilities
Section 1150B of the Social Security Act requires employees of federally funded long-term care facilities to immediately report any reasonable suspicion of a crime committed against a resident of that facility. Those reports must be submitted to at least one law enforcement agency and the applicable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) Survey Agency. Covered individuals who fail to report under Section 1150B are subject to various penalties, including civil monetary penalties of up to $300,000 and possible exclusion from participation in any Federal health care program. Medicare regulations require SNFs to establish and implement written policies to ensure the reporting of crimes that occur in federally funded SNFs in accordance with Section 1150B.
In August 2017, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a preliminary report regarding quality of care concerns by operators of SNFs. In its report, the OIG determined that CMS has inadequate procedures in place to ensure that incidents of potential abuse or neglect of Medicare beneficiaries residing in SNFs are identified and reported. The report was issued in connection with the OIG’s ongoing review of potential abuse and neglect of Medicare beneficiaries residing in SNFs.
As a result of the OIG report, CMS enforcement activity against SNF operators may increase, especially with regard to the reporting of potential abuse or neglect of SNF residents. If any of our tenants or their employees are found to have violated any applicable reporting requirements, they may become subject to penalties or other sanctions up to and including loss of licensure.
Healthcare Licensure and Certificate of Need

Our healthcare facilities are subject to extensive federal, state and local licensure, certification and inspection laws and regulations. In addition, various licenses and permits are required to operate SNFs, ALFs, and ILFs, dispense narcotics, operate pharmacies, handle radioactive materials and operate equipment. Many states require certain healthcare providers to obtain a certificate of need, which requires prior approval for the construction, modification and closure of certain healthcare facilities. The ability to obtain such approval and/or the approval process may impact some of our tenants’ abilities to expand or change their businesses. Any failure to comply with any of these laws, regulations, or standards could result in penalties which may include loss or restriction of license, loss of accreditation, denial of reimbursement, imposition of fines, suspension or decertification from federal and state healthcare programs, or closure of the facility.

Privacy, Security and Data Breach Notification Laws

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (“HIPAA”) regulates the privacy and security of certain health information (“Protected Health Information”) and requires entities subject to HIPAA to provide notification of breaches of Protected Health Information. Entities subject to HIPAA include health plans, healthcare clearinghouses, and most health care providers (including some of our tenants). Business associates of these entities who create, receive, maintain or transmit Protected Health Information are also subject to HIPAA. Violations of the HIPAA requirements may result in civil monetary penalties of up to $50,000 per violation with a maximum civil penalty of $1.5 million in a calendar year for violations of the same requirement. However, a single breach or incident can result in violations of multiple requirements, resulting in possible penalties well in excess of $1.5 million. Breaches of unsecured Protected Health Information and other violations of HIPAA may have other material adverse consequences including material loss of business, regulatory enforcement, substantial legal liability and reputational harm. Certain violations of HIPAA can result in criminal penalties and enforcement.

Our Company and our tenants are subject to various other state and federal laws that relate to privacy, security and the reporting of data breaches involving personal information. For example, various state laws and regulations may require notification of affected individuals in the event of a data breach involving social security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information. Failure to comply with such requirements could have a materially adverse effect on our Company and the ability of our tenants to meet their obligations to us. Failure of our tenants to comply with HIPAA could have a material adverse effect on their ability to meet their obligations to us. Furthermore, the adoption of new privacy, security and data breach notification laws at the federal and state level could require us or our tenants to incur significant compliance costs.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”)
Although most of our properties are not required to comply with the ADA because of certain “grandfather” provisions in the law, some of our properties must comply with the ADA and similar state or local laws to the extent that such properties are “public accommodations,” as defined in those statutes. These laws may require removal of barriers to access by persons with disabilities in certain public areas of our properties where such removal is readily achievable. Under our triple-net lease structure, our tenants would generally be responsible for additional costs that may be required to make our facilities ADA-compliant. Noncompliance with the ADA could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants.
Environmental Matters
A wide variety of federal, state and local environmental and occupational health and safety laws and regulations affect healthcare facility operations. These complex federal and state statutes, and their enforcement, involve a myriad of regulations, many of which involve strict liability on the part of the potential offender. Some of these federal and state statutes may directly impact us. Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, an owner of real property, such as us, may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances at, under or disposed of in connection with such property, as well as other potential costs relating to hazardous or toxic substances (including government fines and damages for injuries to persons and adjacent property). The cost of any required remediation, removal, fines or personal or property damages and the owner’s liability therefore could exceed or impair the value of the property and/or the assets of the owner. In addition, the presence of such substances, or the failure to properly dispose of or remediate such substances, may adversely affect the owner’s ability to sell or rent such property or to borrow using such property as collateral which, in turn, could reduce our revenues. See “Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business - Environmental compliance costs and liabilities associated with real estate properties owned by us may materially impair the value of those investments.”
REIT Qualification
We elected to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 2014. Our qualification as a REIT will depend upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various complex requirements under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), relating to, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and values of our assets, our distribution levels to our stockholders and the concentration of ownership of our capital stock. We believe that we are organized in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code and that our manner of operation has and will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT.
The Operating Partnership
We own substantially all of our assets and properties and conduct our operations through the Operating Partnership. We believe that conducting business through the Operating Partnership provides flexibility with respect to the manner in which we structure the acquisition of properties. In particular, an UPREIT structure enables us to acquire additional properties from sellers in tax deferred transactions. In these transactions, the seller would typically contribute its assets to the Operating Partnership in exchange for units of limited partnership interest in the Operating Partnership (“OP Units”). Holders of OP Units will have the right, after a 12-month holding period, to require the Operating Partnership to redeem any or all of such OP Units for cash based upon the fair market value of an equivalent number of shares of CareTrust REIT’s common stock at the time of the redemption. Alternatively, we may elect to acquire those OP Units in exchange for shares of our common stock on a one-for-one basis. The number of shares of common stock used to determine the redemption value of OP Units, and the number of shares issuable in exchange for OP Units, is subject to adjustment in the event of stock splits, stock dividends, distributions of warrants or stock rights, specified extraordinary distributions and similar events. The Operating Partnership is managed by our wholly owned subsidiary, CareTrust GP, LLC, which is the sole general partner of the Operating Partnership and owns one percent of its outstanding partnership interests. As of December 31, 2019, CareTrust REIT is the only limited partner of the Operating Partnership, owning 99% of its outstanding partnership interests, and we have not issued OP Units to any other party.

The benefits of our UPREIT structure include the following:
Access to capital. We believe the UPREIT structure provides us with access to capital for refinancing and growth. Because an UPREIT structure includes a partnership as well as a corporation, we can access the markets through the Operating Partnership issuing equity or debt as well as the corporation issuing capital stock or debt securities. Sources of capital include possible future issuances of debt or equity through public offerings or private placements.

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Growth. The UPREIT structure allows stockholders, through their ownership of common stock, and the limited partners, through their ownership of OP Units, an opportunity to participate in future investments we may make in additional properties.
Tax deferral. The UPREIT structure provides property owners who transfer their real properties to the Operating Partnership in exchange for OP Units the opportunity to defer the tax consequences that otherwise would arise from a sale of their real properties and other assets to us or to a third party. As a result, this structure allows us to acquire assets in a more efficient manner and may allow us to acquire assets that the owner would otherwise be unwilling to sell because of tax considerations.
Insurance
We maintain, or require in our leases that our tenants maintain, all applicable lines of insurance on our properties and their operations. The amount and scope of insurance coverage provided by our policies and the policies maintained by our tenants is customary for similarly situated companies in our industry. However, we cannot assure you that our tenants will maintain the required insurance coverages, and the failure by any of them to do so could have a material adverse effect on us. We also cannot assure you that we will continue to require the same levels of insurance coverage under our leases, including the Ensign Master Leases, that such insurance will be available at a reasonable cost in the future or that the insurance coverage provided will fully cover all losses on our properties upon the occurrence of a catastrophic event, nor can we assure you of the future financial viability of the insurers.

Available Information

We file annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information with SEC. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains these reports, and other information about issuers, like us, which file electronically with the SEC. The address of that site is http://www.sec.gov. We make available our reports on Form 10-K, 10-Q, and 8-K (as well as all amendments to these reports), and other information, free of charge, on the Investor Relations section of our website at www.caretrustreit.com. The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this report or any other document that we file with the SEC.


ITEM 1A.
Risk Factors
Risks Related to Our Business

We are dependent on the healthcare operators that lease our properties to successfully operate their businesses and make payments to us under their leases, and an event that materially and adversely affects their business, financial position or results of operations could materially and adversely affect our business, financial position or results of operations
All but one of our properties are operated by our tenants pursuant to triple-net master leases. As a result, we are unable to directly implement strategic business decisions with respect to the daily operation and marketing of these properties. While we have various rights as the property owner under our triple-net leases and monitor our tenants’ and operators’ performance, we may have limited recourse under our master leases if we believe that a tenant or operator is not performing adequately and any failure by a tenant to effectively conduct its operations or to maintain and improve our properties could adversely affect its business reputation and its ability to attract and retain residents in our properties, which in turn, could adversely affect their ability to make rental payments to us and otherwise adversely affect our results of operations, including our ability to repay our outstanding indebtedness or our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders as required to maintain our status as a REIT. Additionally, because each master lease is a triple-net lease, we depend on our tenants to pay all insurance, taxes, utilities and maintenance and repair expenses in connection with these leased properties and to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless from and against various claims, litigation and liabilities arising in connection with their business. There can be no assurance that our tenants will have sufficient assets, income and access to financing to enable them to satisfy their payment or indemnification obligations under their leases with us.
Ensign leases or provides a guaranty for a significant portion of our properties. As of December 31, 2019, properties leased to Ensign under the Ensign Master Leases represented $53.4 million, or 32%, of our rental revenues, exclusive of operating expense reimbursements, on an annualized run-rate basis, and properties leased to Pennant under the Pennant Master Lease for which Ensign provides a guaranty (the “Pennant Guaranty”) represented $7.8 million, or 5%, of our rental revenues, exclusive of operating expense reimbursements, on an annualized run-rate basis. The inability or unwillingness of Ensign to meet its rent obligations under the Ensign Master Leases or the Pennant Guaranty could materially adversely affect our

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business, financial position or results of operations. In addition, the inability of Ensign to satisfy its other obligations under its leases, such as the payment of insurance, taxes and utilities, could materially and adversely affect the condition of the properties leased to Ensign as well as Ensign’s business, financial position and results of operations. For these reasons, if Ensign were to experience a material and adverse effect on its business, financial position or results of operations, our business, financial position or results of operations could also be materially and adversely affected.
Further, due to our dependence on rental payments from Ensign for a substantial portion of our revenues, we may be limited in our ability to enforce our rights under, or to terminate, the Ensign Master Leases or the Pennant Guaranty. Failure by Ensign to comply with the terms of the Ensign Master Leases or the Pennant Guaranty, or to comply with federal and state healthcare laws and regulations to which the leased properties are subject could require us to find another lessee for such leased property and there could be a decrease in or cessation of rental payments. In such event, we may be unable to locate a suitable lessee at similar rental rates or at all, which would have the effect of reducing our rental revenues.
The impact of healthcare reform legislation on us and our tenants cannot accurately be predicted and could adversely affect our results of operations.
The healthcare operators to whom we lease our properties are dependent on the healthcare industry and may be susceptible to the risks associated with healthcare reform. Because our properties are used as healthcare properties, we are impacted by the risks associated with healthcare reform. Legislative proposals are introduced or proposed each year that would introduce major changes in the healthcare system, either nationally or at the state level. We cannot accurately predict whether any future legislative proposals will be adopted or, if adopted, what effect, if any, these proposals would have on our tenants and, thus, our business.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “Affordable Care Act”) serves as the primary vehicle for comprehensive healthcare reform in the United States. Efforts by the presidential administration and certain members of Congress to repeal or make significant changes to the Affordable Care Act, its implementation and/or its interpretation in 2017, including the successful repeal of the penalty associated with the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, effective for 2019, have cast considerable uncertainty on the future of the Affordable Care Act. For example, on December 14, 2018, a U.S. District Court in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional in its entirety. This decision was appealed, and on December 18, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded the case for further analysis and it remains on appeal. This and other changes may impact the number of individuals that elect to obtain public or private health insurance or the scope of such coverage, if purchased. We anticipate Congress will continue to review and assess alternative health care delivery and payment systems and may in the future propose and adopt legislation effecting additional fundamental changes in the health care system. For example, some members of Congress have suggested expanding the coverage of government-funded programs, including single-payor models. At this time, it is uncertain whether any additional healthcare reform legislation will ultimately become law and we cannot predict the ultimate content, timing or effect of any healthcare reform legislation or the impact of potential legislation on our business. If our tenants’ residents do not have insurance, it could adversely impact the tenants’ ability to satisfy their obligation to us.
Other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, which also may impact our business. For instance, on April 1, 2014, President Obama signed the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, which, among other things, requires the CMS to measure, track, and publish readmission rates of SNFs by 2017 and implement a value-based purchasing program for SNFs (the “SNF VBP Program”), which commenced October 1, 2018. The SNF VBP Program increases Medicare reimbursement rates for SNFs that achieve certain levels of quality performance measures developed by CMS, relative to other facilities. The value-based payments authorized by the SNF VBP Program are funded by reducing Medicare payment for all SNFs by 2% and redistributing up to 70% of those funds to high-performing SNFs. However, there is no assurance that payments made by CMS as a result of the SNF VBP Program will be sufficient to cover a facility’s costs. If Medicare reimbursement provided to our healthcare tenants is reduced under the SNF VBP Program, that reduction may have an adverse impact on the ability of our tenants to meet their obligations to us.
Additionally, on November 16, 2015, CMS issued the final rule for a new mandatory Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (“CJR”) model focusing on coordinated, patient-centered care. Under this model, the hospital in which the hip or knee replacement takes place is accountable for the costs and quality of care from the time of the surgery through 90 days after, or an “episode” of care. This model initially covered 67 geographic areas throughout the country and most hospitals in those regions are required to participate. Following the implementation of the CJR program, the Medicare revenues of our SNF-operating tenants related to lower extremity joint replacement hospital discharges could be increased or decreased in those geographic areas identified by CMS for mandatory participation in the bundled payment program. If Medicare reimbursement provided to our healthcare tenants is reduced under the CJR model, or under any similar model implemented in the future for

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different types of procedures, that reduction may have an adverse impact on the ability of our tenants to meet their obligations to us.
Tenants that fail to comply with the requirements of, or changes to, governmental reimbursement programs, such as Medicare or Medicaid, may cease to operate or be unable to meet their financial and other contractual obligations to us.
The healthcare operators to whom we lease our properties are subject to complex federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to governmental healthcare reimbursement programs. See “Business - Government Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement - Overview.” As a result, our tenants are subject to the following risks, among others:

statutory and regulatory changes;
retroactive rate adjustments;
recovery of program overpayments or set-offs;
administrative rulings;
policy interpretations;
payment or other delays by fiscal intermediaries or carriers;
government funding restrictions (at a program level or with respect to specific facilities); and
interruption or delays in payments due to any ongoing governmental investigations and audits.
Healthcare reimbursement will likely continue to be a significant focus for federal and state authorities in their efforts to control costs. We cannot make any assessment as to the ultimate timing or the effect that any future legislative reforms may have on our tenants’ costs of doing business and on the amount of reimbursement by government and other third-party payors. More generally, and because of the dynamic nature of the legislative and regulatory environment for health care products and services, and in light of existing federal budgetary concerns, we cannot predict the impact that broad-based, far-reaching legislative or regulatory changes could have on the U.S. economy, our business or that of our operators and tenants. The failure of any of our tenants to comply with these laws, requirements and regulations could materially and adversely affect their ability to meet their financial and contractual obligations to us.
Government investigations and enforcement actions brought against the health care industry have increased dramatically over the past several years and are expected to continue, particularly in the area of Medicare/Medicaid false claims, as well as an increase in the intensity of enforcement actions resulting from these investigations. Some of these enforcement actions represent novel legal theories and expansions in the application of the False Claims Act.
The False Claims Act provides that any person who “knowingly presents, or causes to be presented” a “false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval” to the U.S. government, or its agents and contractors, is liable for a civil penalty ranging from $5,500 to $11,000 per claim, plus three times the amount of damages sustained by the government. Under the False Claims Act’s so-called “reverse false claims,” liability also could arise for “using” a false record or statement to “conceal,” “avoid” or “decrease” an “obligation” (which can include the retention of an overpayment) “to pay or transmit money or property to the Government.” The False Claims Act also empowers and provides incentives to private citizens (commonly referred to as qui tam relator or whistleblower) to file suit on the government’s behalf. The qui tam relator’s share of the recovery can be between 15% and 25% in cases in which the government intervenes, and 25% to 30% in cases in which the government does not intervene. Notably, the Affordable Care Act amended certain jurisdictional bars to the False Claims Act, effectively narrowing the “public disclosure bar” (which generally requires that a whistleblower suit not be based on publicly disclosed information) and expanding the “original source” exception (which generally permits a whistleblower suit based on publicly disclosed information if the whistleblower is the original source of that publicly disclosed information), thus potentially broadening the field of potential whistleblowers.
Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental health care payors require that extensive financial information be reported on a periodic basis and in a specific format or content. These requirements are numerous, technical and complex and may not be fully understood or implemented by billing or reporting personnel. With respect to certain types of required information, the False Claims Act may be violated by mere negligence or recklessness in the submission of information to the government even without any intent to defraud. New billing systems, new medical procedures and procedures for which there is not clear guidance may all result in liability. In addition, violations of the Anti-Kickback Law or Stark Law may form the basis for a federal False Claims Act violation. See “Business - Government Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement.”
Many states have adopted laws similar to the False Claims Act. Some of the laws apply to claims submitted to private and commercial payors, not just governmental payors. Any violations of such laws by an operator of a health care property could result in loss of accreditation, denial of reimbursement, imposition of fines, suspension or decertification from

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government healthcare programs, civil liability, and in certain limited instances, criminal penalties, loss of license or closure of the property and/or the incurrence of considerable costs arising from an investigation or regulatory action.
If we or our tenants fail to adhere to applicable privacy and security laws, or experience a security incident or breach, this could have a material adverse effect on us or on our tenants’ ability to meet their obligations to us.
HIPAA regulates the privacy and security of Protected Health Information, and requires entities subject to HIPAA to promptly notify affected individuals, regulators and in some cases the media, of breaches of Protected Health Information. Some of our tenants are subject to HIPAA.
Violations of the HIPAA requirements may result in civil monetary penalties of up to $50,000 per violation with a maximum civil penalty of $1.5 million in a calendar year for violations of the same requirement. However, a single breach or incident can result in violations of multiple requirements, resulting in possible penalties well in excess of $1.5 million. Data breaches and other violations of HIPAA may have other material adverse consequences including material loss of business, regulatory enforcement, substantial legal liability and reputational harm. Certain violations of HIPAA can result in criminal penalties and enforcement. Failure of our tenants to comply with HIPAA could have a material adverse effect on their ability to meet their obligations to us.
We and our tenants are subject to various other state and federal laws that relate to privacy, security and the reporting of data breaches involving personal information. For example, various state laws and regulations may require notification of affected individuals in the event of a data breach involving social security numbers, dates of birth and credit card information. Failure to comply with these and other requirements could have a materially adverse effect on our company and the ability of our tenants to meet their obligations to us. Furthermore, the adoption of new privacy, security and data breach notification laws at the federal and state level could require us or our tenants to incur significant compliance costs.
While we and our tenants maintain various security controls, there remains a risk of security incidents or breaches resulting from unintentional or deliberate acts by third parties or insiders who attempt to obtain unauthorized access to information, destroy or manipulate data, or disrupt or sabotage information systems. A security incident or breach could result in a material loss of business, regulatory enforcement, substantial legal liability and reputational harm. Where the incident or breach affects a tenant, this could jeopardize the tenant’s ability to fulfill its obligations to us.
Tenants that fail to comply with federal, state and local licensure, certification and inspection laws and regulations may cease to operate our healthcare facilities or be unable to meet their financial and other contractual obligations to us.
The healthcare operators to whom we lease properties are subject to extensive federal, state, local and industry-related licensure, certification and inspection laws, regulations and standards. Our tenants’ failure to comply with any of these laws, regulations or standards could result in penalties which may include loss or restriction of license, loss of accreditation, denial of reimbursement, imposition of fines, suspension or decertification from federal and state healthcare programs, or closure of the facility. Though the regulatory environment in which SNFs operate is more restrictive than for ALFs, ALFs face similar penalties for noncompliance with applicable legal requirements. For example, operations at our properties may require a license, registration, certificate of need, provider agreement or certification. Failure of any tenant to obtain, or the loss or imposition of restrictions on any required license, registration, certificate of need, provider agreement or certification would prevent a facility from operating in the manner intended by such tenant. Additionally, failure of our tenants to generally comply with applicable laws and regulations could adversely affect facilities owned by us, result in adverse publicity and reputational harm, and therefore could materially and adversely affect us. See “Business - Government Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement - Healthcare Licensure and Certificate of Need.”
Our tenants depend on reimbursement from government and other third-party payors and if reimbursement rates from such payors are reduced by future legislative reform, it could cause our tenants’ revenues to decline and could affect their ability to meet their obligations to us.
Sometimes, governmental payors freeze or reduce payments to healthcare providers, or provide annual reimbursement rate increases that are smaller than expected, due to budgetary and other pressures. Healthcare reimbursement will likely continue to be of significant importance to federal and state authorities. For example, the federal government and a number of states are currently managing budget deficits and, as a result, many states are focusing on the reduction of expenditures under their Medicaid programs, which may result in a freeze on Medicaid rates or a decrease in reimbursement rates for our tenants. The need to control Medicaid expenditures may be exacerbated by the potential for increased enrollment in Medicaid due to unemployment and declines in family incomes. These potential reductions could be compounded by the potential for federal cost-cutting efforts that could lead to reductions in reimbursement to our tenants under both the Medicaid and Medicare

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programs. While we cannot make any assessment as to the ultimate timing or the effect that any future legislative reforms may have on our tenants’ costs of doing business and on the amount of reimbursement by government and other third-party payors, potential reductions in Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement, or in non-governmental third-party payor reimbursement, to our tenants could reduce the revenues of our tenants and their ability to meet their obligations to us.
On November 12, 2019, CMS issued CMS-2393-P, its proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (“MFAR”). As proposed, MFAR would further regulate and in some cases materially reform, eliminate or prompt the replacement of certain state Medicaid supplemental payment systems and financing arrangements that currently benefit healthcare providers. These supplemental payment systems take various forms in the states where they are in effect, including for example provider or so-called “bed” tax arrangements, intergovernmental transfers (“IGT”) and upper payment limit (“UPL”) payments. Several of the healthcare operators to whom we lease our properties benefit from these supplemental payment systems. The proposed MFAR is currently in a comment period and may be changed before a final rule is adopted, or may not be adopted at all. If MFAR is adopted in a format that materially reduces available Medicaid reimbursement to our tenants, it could reduce our tenants’ revenues and their ability to meet their obligations to us.
The bankruptcy, insolvency or financial deterioration of our tenants could delay or prevent our ability to collect unpaid rents or require us to find new tenants.
We receive substantially all of our income as rental payments under leases of our properties. We have no control over the success or failure of our tenants’ businesses and, at any time, any of our tenants may experience a downturn in its business that may weaken its financial condition. As a result, our tenants have in the past, and may in the future, fail to make rent payments when due, or our tenants may declare bankruptcy.
Any tenant failures to make rent payments when due or tenant bankruptcies could result in the termination of the tenant’s lease and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders (which could adversely affect our ability to raise capital or service our indebtedness). This risk is magnified in situations where we lease multiple properties to a single tenant, such as Ensign, as a multiple property tenant failure could reduce or eliminate rental revenue from multiple properties.
If a tenant is unable to comply with the terms of its lease, we may be forced to write off unpaid amounts due to us from the tenant, move to a cash basis method of accounting for recognizing rental revenues from the tenant or otherwise modify the lease with such tenant in ways that are unfavorable to us. Alternatively, the failure of a tenant to perform under a lease could require us to declare a default, repossess the property, find a suitable replacement tenant, hire third-party managers to operate the property or sell the property. See Note 2, Summary of Significant Accounting Policies and Note 3, Real Estate Investments, Net for further information.
If a tenant is unable to comply with the terms of its lease, there is no assurance that we would be able to lease a property on substantially equivalent or better terms than the prior lease, or at all, find another qualified tenant, successfully reposition the property for other uses or sell the property on terms that are favorable to us.
If any lease expires or is terminated, we could be responsible for all of the operating expenses for that property until it is re-leased or sold. If we experience a significant number of un-leased properties, our operating expenses could increase significantly. Any significant increase in our operating costs may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.
If one or more of our tenants files for bankruptcy relief, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code provides that a debtor has the option to assume or reject the unexpired lease within a certain period of time. Any bankruptcy filing by or relating to one of our tenants could bar all efforts by us to collect pre-bankruptcy debts from that tenant or seize its property. A tenant bankruptcy could also delay our efforts to collect past due balances under the leases and could ultimately preclude collection of all or a portion of these sums. It is possible that we may recover substantially less than the full value of any unsecured claims we hold, if any, which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. Furthermore, dealing with a tenant’s bankruptcy or other default may divert management’s attention and cause us to incur substantial legal and other costs. Additionally, because we lease many of our properties to healthcare providers who provide long-term custodial care to the elderly, evicting operators for failure to pay rent while the property is occupied typically involves specific procedural or regulatory requirements and may not be successful. Even if eviction is possible, we may determine not to do so due to reputational or other risks.

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If we must replace any of our tenants or operators, we may have difficulty identifying replacements and we may be required to incur substantial renovation costs to make certain that our healthcare properties are suitable for other operators and tenants.
If we or our tenants terminate or do not renew the leases for our properties, we would attempt to reposition those properties with another tenant or operator. Rental payments on such properties could decline or cease altogether while we reposition the properties with a suitable replacement tenant or operator and we may be required to fund certain expenses and obligations (e.g., real estate taxes, debt costs and maintenance expenses) to preserve the value of, and avoid the imposition of liens on, such properties while they are being repositioned.
Healthcare facilities are typically highly customized and may not be easily adapted to non-healthcare-related uses. The improvements generally required to conform a property to healthcare use, such as upgrading electrical, gas and plumbing infrastructure and security, are costly and at times tenant-specific. A new or replacement tenant to operate one or more of our healthcare facilities may require different features in a property, depending on that tenant’s particular operations. If a current tenant is unable to pay rent and vacates a property, we may incur substantial expenditures to modify a property before we are able to secure another tenant. Also, if the property needs to be renovated to accommodate multiple tenants, we may incur substantial expenditures before we are able to release the space. In addition, approvals of local authorities for such modifications and/or renovations may be necessary, resulting in delays in transitioning a facility to a new tenant. These expenditures or renovations and delays could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations. In addition, we may fail to identify suitable replacements or enter into leases or other arrangements with new tenants or operators on a timely basis or on terms as favorable to us as our current leases, if at all. Once a suitable replacement tenant or operator has taken over operation of a property, it may still take an extended period of time before such property is fully repositioned and value restored, if at all. Any of these results could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to stockholders.
The geographic concentration of some of our facilities could leave us vulnerable to an economic downturn, regulatory changes or acts of nature in those areas.
Our properties are located in 28 different states, with our highest concentrations by rental income in California, Texas and Louisiana. The properties in these three states accounted for approximately 18%, 21% and 5%, respectively, of the total beds and units in our portfolio, as of December 31, 2019 and approximately 23%, 21% and 10%, respectively, of our rental income for the year ended December 31, 2019. As a result of this concentration, the conditions of local economies and real estate markets, including increases in real estate taxes, changes in governmental rules, regulations and reimbursement rates or criteria, changes in demographics, state funding, acts of nature and other factors that may result in a decrease in demand and/or reimbursement for skilled nursing services in these states could have a disproportionately adverse effect on our tenants’ revenue, costs and results of operations, which may affect their ability to meet their obligations to us.
Our facilities located in Texas and Louisiana are especially susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding, and our facilities located in California are particularly susceptible to natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes and mudslides. These acts of nature may cause disruption to our tenants, their employees and our facilities, which could have an adverse impact on our tenants’ patients and businesses. In order to provide care for their patients, our tenants are dependent on consistent and reliable delivery of food, pharmaceuticals, utilities and other goods to our facilities, and the availability of employees to provide services at the facilities. If the delivery of goods or the ability of employees to reach our facilities is interrupted in any material respect due to a natural disaster or other reasons, it would have a significant impact on our facilities and our tenants’ businesses at those facilities. Furthermore, the impact, or impending threat, of a natural disaster may require that our tenants evacuate one or more facilities, which would be costly and would involve risks, including potentially fatal risks, for the patients at such facilities. The impact of disasters and similar events is inherently uncertain. Such events could harm our tenants’ patients and employees, severely damage or destroy one or more of our facilities, harm our tenants’ business, reputation and financial performance, or otherwise cause our tenants’ businesses to suffer in ways that we currently cannot predict.
In addition, to the extent that significant changes in the climate occur in areas where our properties are located, we may experience extreme weather and changes in precipitation and temperature, all of which may result in physical damage to or a decrease in demand for properties located in these areas or affected by these conditions. Should the impact of climate change be material in nature, including destruction of our properties, or occur for lengthy periods of time, our financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected. In addition, changes in federal and state legislation and regulation on climate change could result in increased capital expenditures to improve the energy efficiency of our existing properties and could also require us to spend more on our new development properties without a corresponding increase in revenue.

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We pursue acquisitions of additional properties and seek other strategic opportunities in the ordinary course of our business, which may result in the use of a significant amount of management resources or significant costs, and we may not fully realize the potential benefits of such transactions.
We regularly review potential transactions in order to maximize stockholder value. We pursue acquisitions of additional properties and seek acquisitions and other strategic opportunities in the ordinary course of our business. Accordingly, we are often engaged in evaluating potential transactions and other strategic alternatives. In addition, from time to time, we engage in discussions that may result in one or more transactions. Although there is uncertainty that any of these discussions will result in definitive agreements or the completion of any transaction, we may devote a significant amount of our management resources to such a transaction, which could negatively impact our operations. We may incur significant costs in connection with seeking acquisitions or other strategic opportunities regardless of whether the transaction is completed and in combining our operations if such a transaction is completed. In addition, there is no assurance that we will fully realize the potential benefits of any past or future acquisition or strategic transaction.
Additionally, from time to time, we may invest in preferred equity interests in joint ventures. Our use of joint ventures may be subject to risks that may not be present with other ownership methods. Our joint ventures may involve property development, which presents additional risks that could render a development project less profitable or not profitable at all and, under certain circumstances, may prevent completion of development activities once undertaken.
We operate in a highly competitive industry and face competition from other REITs, investment companies, private equity and hedge fund investors, sovereign funds, healthcare operators, lenders and other investors, some of whom are significantly larger and have greater resources and lower costs of capital. Increased competition will make it more challenging to identify and successfully capitalize on acquisition opportunities that meet our investment objectives. If we cannot identify and purchase a sufficient quantity of suitable properties at favorable prices or if we are unable to finance acquisitions on commercially favorable terms, or at all, our business, financial position or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, any future acquisitions may require the issuance of securities, the incurrence of debt, assumption of contingent liabilities or incurrence of significant expenditures, each of which could materially adversely impact our business, financial condition or results of operations. Additionally, the fact that we must distribute 90% of our REIT taxable income in order to maintain our qualification as a REIT may limit our ability to rely upon rental payments from our leased properties or subsequently acquired properties in order to finance acquisitions. As a result, if debt or equity financing is not available on acceptable terms, further acquisitions might be limited or curtailed. Transactions involving properties we might seek to acquire entail risks associated with real estate investments generally, including that the investment’s performance will fail to meet expectations or that the tenant, operator or manager will underperform.
Increased competition has resulted and may further result in lower net revenues for some of our tenants and may affect their ability to meet their financial and other contractual obligations to us.
The healthcare industry is highly competitive. The occupancy levels at, and results of operations from, our facilities are dependent on our ability and the ability of our tenants to compete with other tenants and operators on a number of different levels, including the quality of care provided, reputation, the physical appearance of a facility, price, the range of services offered, family preference, amenities, alternatives for healthcare delivery, the supply of competing properties, physicians, staff, referral sources, location, and the size and demographics of the population in the surrounding area. In addition, our tenants face an increasingly competitive labor market for skilled management personnel and nurses together with Medicaid reimbursement in some states that does not cover the full cost of caring for residents. Significant turnover, or a shortage of nurses or other trained personnel or general inflationary pressures on wages, may force tenants to enhance pay and benefits packages to compete effectively for skilled personnel, or to use more expensive contract personnel, but they be unable to offset these added costs by increasing the rates charged to residents. Any increase in labor costs and other property operating expenses or any failure by our tenants to attract and retain qualified personnel could reduce the revenues of our tenants and their ability to meet their obligations to us.
Our tenants also compete with numerous other companies providing similar healthcare services or alternatives such as home health agencies, life care at home, community-based service programs, retirement communities and convalescent centers. We cannot be certain that our tenants will be able to achieve occupancy and rate levels, or manage their expenses, in a way that will enable them to meet all of their obligations to us. Further, many competing companies may have resources and attributes that are superior to those of our tenants. They may encounter increased competition that could limit their ability to maintain or attract residents or expand their businesses or to manage their expenses, either of which could adversely affect their ability to meet their obligations to us, potentially decreasing our revenues, impairing our assets, and/or increasing our collection and dispute costs.

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In addition, if development of senior housing facilities outpaces demand for those assets in markets in which we are located, those markets may become saturated and our senior housing tenants and operators could experience decreased occupancy, which may affect their ability to meet their financial and other contractual obligations to us.
Required regulatory approvals can delay or prohibit transfers of our healthcare properties, which could result in periods in which we are unable to receive rent for such properties.
Our tenants that operate SNFs and other healthcare facilities must be licensed under applicable state law and, depending upon the type of facility, certified or approved as providers under the Medicare and/or Medicaid programs. Prior to the transfer of the operations of such healthcare properties to successor operators, the new operator generally must become licensed under state law and, in certain states, receive change of ownership approvals under certificate of need laws (which provide for a certification that the state has made a determination that a need exists for the beds located on the property) and, if applicable, file for a Medicare and Medicaid change of ownership (commonly referred to as a CHOW). If an existing lease is terminated or expir