Omega Healthcare Investors 10-K 2006
Documents found in this filing:
UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
(Amendment No. 1)
x ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005.
o 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 1-11316
OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVESTORS, INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
Registrants telephone number, including area code: 410-427-1700
Securities Registered Pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
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 o No x
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 and Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding twelve 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 o No x The Registrant has not yet filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2006.
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrants knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of accelerated filer and large accelerated filer in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the voting stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates was $639,180,194. The aggregate market value was computed using the $12.86 closing price per share for such stock on the New York Stock Exchange on June 30, 2005.
As of February 10, 2006 there were 57,302,212 shares of common stock outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Proxy Statement for the registrants 2006 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 24, 2006 is incorporated by reference in Part III herein.
OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVESTORS,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
This Amendment No. 1 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K/A (Form 10-K/A) is being filed in order to correct the previously issued historical consolidated financial statements of Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (Omega or the Company) as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, and for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2005, initially filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) on February 17, 2006, for errors in previously reported amounts related to income tax matters and asset values, as well as the recording of straight-line rental income. Additionally, as a result of these matters, we are amending our evaluation of internal controls over financial reporting in Item 9A.
For the convenience of the reader, this Form 10-K/A includes all of the information contained in the original report on Form 10-K, and no attempt has been made in this Form 10-K/A to modify or update the disclosures presented in the original report on Form 10-K, except as required to reflect the effects of the restatement. The Form 10-K/A does not reflect events occurring after the filing of the Form 10-K or modify or update those disclosures, including the exhibits to the Form 10-K affected by subsequent events. Information not affected by the restatement is unchanged and reflects the disclosures made at the time of the original filing of the Form 10-K on February 17, 2006. Accordingly, this Form 10-K/A should be read in conjunction with our filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission subsequent to the filing of the original Form 10-K, including any amendments to those filings. The following items have been amended as a result of the restatement:
· Part I - Item 1 Business;
· Part I - Item 1A Risk Factors;
· Part II - Item 6 Selected Financial Data;
· Part II - Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations;
· Part II Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk;
· Part II - Item 8 Financial Statements and Supplementary Data;
· Part II - Item 9A Controls and Procedures; and
· Part IV - Item 15 Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.
We have not amended and do not intend to amend our previously filed Annual Reports on Form 10-K or our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for periods affected by the restatement other than the Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005. For this reason, the consolidated financial statements, auditors reports and related financial information for the affected periods contained in any other prior reports should no longer be relied upon. In addition, this Form 10-K/A includes current certifications from the Companys CEO and CFO as Exhibits 31.1, 31.2, 32.1 and 32.2.
Our Board of Directors, including our Audit Committee, concluded on October 24, 2006, to restate our audited financial results as of December 31, 2005 and 2004 and for the three years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 and for other periods affected, including its unaudited financial statements for each quarterly period in 2005 and 2004 (the Restatement). The Restatement reflects the following adjustments:
1. We have recorded asset values for securities received from Advocat Inc. (Advocat) (and the increases therein) since the completion of the restructuring of Advocat obligations pursuant to leases and mortgages for the facilities then operated by Advocat in 2000. These adjustments will increase total assets by $5.4 million and $5.1 million as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. These adjustments will also increase net income by $1.6 million, $1.9 million and $0.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Changes in the fair value of the securities not currently recognized in net income will be reflected in other comprehensive income.
2. As a result of our holding of Advocat securities, we have recorded reserves related to a potential tax liability arising from our ownership of such securities. This tax liability along with related interest expense had not been previously accrued for and this adjustment will decrease net income by $2.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.5 million for the years
ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The amount accrued represents the estimated liability, which remains subject to final resolution and therefore is subject to change.
3. Subsequent to October 25, 2006, we made a correction to our accounting for certain leases because these leases contain provisions (such as increases in rent based on the lesser of a fixed amount or two times the Consumer Price Index) that require us to record rental income on a straight-line basis subject to an appropriate evaluation of collectibility. We had not previously recorded rental income on these leases on a straight-line basis. As a result of this adjustment, our net income will increase by $2.8 million, $1.9 million and $1.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. In addition, net accounts receivable and retained earnings will increase by $9.1 million and $6.3 million as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively, to reflect the effects of this adjustment from inception of the affected leases.
The impact of the adjustments related to the Restatement for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 are summarized below:
Additional information about the decision to restate these financial statements can be found in our Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on October 25, 2006.
We were incorporated in the State of Maryland on March 31, 1992. We are a self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT), investing in income-producing healthcare facilities, principally long-term care facilities located in the United States. We provide lease or mortgage financing to qualified operators of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and, to a lesser extent, assisted living facilities (ALFs), rehabilitation and acute care facilities. We have historically financed investments through borrowings under our revolving credit facilities, private placements or public offerings of debt or equity securities, the assumption of secured indebtedness, or a combination of these methods.
Our portfolio of investments, as of December 31, 2005, consisted of 227 healthcare facilities, located in 27 states and operated by 35 third-party operators. This portfolio was made up of:
· 193 long-term healthcare facilities and two rehabilitation hospitals owned and leased to third parties; and
· fixed rate mortgages on 32 long-term healthcare facilities.
As of December 31, 2005, our gross investments in these facilities, net of impairments and before reserve for uncollectible loans, totaled approximately $1,102 million. In addition, we also held miscellaneous investments of approximately $29 million at December 31, 2005, consisting primarily of secured loans to third-party operators of our facilities.
Our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports are accessible free of charge on our website at www.omegahealthcare.com.
The following tables summarize our revenues and real estate assets by asset category for 2005, 2004 and 2003. (See Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Note 3 Properties, Note 4 Mortgage Notes Receivable and Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements to our audited consolidated financial statements).
Revenues by Asset Category
Real Estate Assets by Asset
Investment Strategy. We maintain a diversified portfolio of long-term healthcare facilities and mortgages on healthcare facilities located throughout the United States. In making investments, we generally have focused on established, creditworthy, middle-market healthcare operators that meet our standards for quality and experience of management. We have sought to diversify our investments in terms of geographic locations and operators.
In evaluating potential investments, we consider such factors as:
· the quality and experience of management and the creditworthiness of the operator of the facility;
· the facilitys historical and forecasted cash flow and its ability to meet operational needs, capital expenditure requirements and lease or debt service obligations, providing a competitive return on our investment;
· the construction quality, condition and design of the facility;
· the geographic area of the facility;
· the tax, growth, regulatory and reimbursement environment of the jurisdiction in which the facility is located;
· the occupancy and demand for similar healthcare facilities in the same or nearby communities; and
· the payor mix of private, Medicare and Medicaid patients.
One of our fundamental investment strategies is to obtain contractual rent escalations under long-term, non-cancelable, triple-net leases and fixed-rate mortgage loans, and to obtain substantial liquidity deposits. Additional security is typically provided by covenants regarding minimum working capital and net worth, liens on accounts receivable and other operating assets, and various provisions for cross-default, cross-collateralization and corporate/personal guarantees, when appropriate.
We prefer to invest in equity ownership of properties. Due to regulatory, tax or other considerations, we sometimes pursue alternative investment structures, including convertible participating and participating mortgages, which can achieve returns comparable to equity investments. The following summarizes the primary investment structures we typically use. Average annualized yields reflect existing contractual arrangements. However, in view of the ongoing financial challenges in the long-term care industry, we cannot assure you that the operators of our facilities will meet their payment obligations in full or when due. Therefore, the annualized yields as of January 1, 2006 set forth below are not necessarily indicative of or a forecast of actual yields, which may be lower.
Purchase/Leaseback. In a Purchase/Leaseback transaction, we purchase the property from the operator and lease it back to the operator over terms typically ranging from 5 to 15 years, plus renewal options. The leases originated by us generally provide for minimum annual rentals which are subject to annual formula increases based upon such factors as increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The average annualized yield from leases was approximately 10.8% at January 1, 2006.
Convertible Participating Mortgage. Convertible participating mortgages are secured by first mortgage liens on the underlying real estate and personal property of the mortgagor. Interest rates are usually subject to annual increases based upon increases in the CPI. Convertible participating mortgages afford us the option to convert our mortgage into direct ownership of the property, generally at a point five to ten years from inception. If we exercise our purchase option, we are obligated to lease the property back to the operator for the balance of the originally agreed term and for the originally agreed participations in revenues or CPI adjustments. This allows us to capture a portion of the potential appreciation in value of the real estate. The operator has the right to buy out our option at prices based on specified formulas. At December 31, 2005, we did not have any convertible participating mortgages.
Participating Mortgage. Participating mortgages are similar to convertible participating mortgages except that we do not have a purchase option. Interest rates are usually subject to annual increases based upon increases in the CPI. At December 31, 2005, we did not have any participating mortgages.
Fixed-Rate Mortgage. These mortgages have a fixed interest rate for the mortgage term and are secured by first mortgage liens on the underlying real estate and personal property of the mortgagor. The average annualized yield on these investments was approximately 10.4% at January 1, 2006.
The following table identifies the years of expiration of the 2006 payment obligations due to us. This information is provided solely to indicate the scheduled expiration of payment obligations due to us and is not a forecast of expected revenues.
The table set forth in Item 2 Properties contains information regarding our real estate properties, their geographic locations, and the types of investment structures as of December 31, 2005.
Borrowing Policies. We may incur additional indebtedness and have historically sought to maintain annualized total debt-to-EBITDA ratio in the range of 4 to 5 times. Annualized EBITDA is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for a twelve month period. We intend to periodically review our policy with respect to our total debt-to-EBITDA ratio and to modify the policy as our management deems prudent in light of prevailing market conditions. Our strategy generally has been to match the maturity of our indebtedness with the maturity of our investment assets and to employ long-term, fixed-rate debt to the extent practicable in view of market conditions in existence from time to time.
We may use proceeds of any additional indebtedness to provide permanent financing for investments in additional healthcare facilities. We may obtain either secured or unsecured indebtedness, and may obtain indebtedness which may be convertible into capital stock or be accompanied by warrants to purchase capital stock. Where debt financing is available on terms deemed favorable, we generally may invest in properties subject to existing loans, secured by mortgages, deeds of trust or similar liens on properties.
If we need capital to repay indebtedness as it matures, we may be required to liquidate investments in properties at times which may not permit realization of the maximum recovery on these investments. This could also result in adverse tax consequences to us. We may be required to issue additional equity interests in our company, which could dilute your investment in our company. (See Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Liquidity and Capital Resources).
Federal Income Tax Considerations. We intend to make and manage our investments, including the sale or disposition of property or other investments, and to operate in such a manner as to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (Internal Revenue Code), unless, because of changes in circumstances or changes in the Internal Revenue Code, our Board of Directors determines that it is no longer in our best interest to qualify as a REIT. So long as we qualify as a REIT, we generally will not pay federal income taxes on the portion of our taxable income which is distributed to stockholders (See Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations; Taxation).
During the fourth quarter of 2006, we determined that certain terms of the Advocat Series B non-voting, redeemable convertible preferred stock held by us could be interpreted as affecting our compliance with federal income tax rules applicable to REITs regarding related party tenant income. As such, Advocat, one of our lessees, may be deemed to be a related party tenant under applicable federal income tax rules. In such event, our rental income from Advocat would not be qualifying income under the gross income tests that are applicable to REITs. In order to maintain qualification as a REIT, we annually must satisfy certain tests regarding the source of our gross income. The applicable federal income tax rules provide a savings clause for REITs that fail to satisfy the REIT gross income tests if such failure is due to reasonable cause. A REIT that qualifies for the savings clause will retain its REIT status but will pay a tax. We currently plan to submit to the IRS a request for a closing agreement to resolve the related party tenant issue. While we believe there are valid arguments that Advocat should not be deemed a related party tenant, the matter is not free from doubt, and we believe it is in our best interest to request a closing agreement in order to resolve the matter, minimize potential penalties and obtain assurances regarding our continuing REIT status. By submitting a request for a closing agreement, we believe we should be able to establish that any failure to satisfy the gross income tests was due to reasonable cause (see Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements).
As a result of the Advocat issue described above and further discussed in Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements, we have recorded a $2.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.5 million provision for income tax, including related interest expense, for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The amount accrued represents the estimated liability, which remains subject to final resolution and therefore is subject to change. In addition, in October 2006, we restructured our Advocat relationship and have been advised by tax counsel that we will not receive any non-qualifying related party tenant income from Advocat in future fiscal years (see Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Results of Operation). Accordingly, we do not expect to incur tax expense associated with related party tenant income in future periods commencing January 1, 2007. We will continue to accrue an income tax liability related to this matter during 2006.
Policies With Respect To Certain Activities. If our Board of Directors determines that additional funding is required, we may raise such funds through additional equity offerings, debt financing, and retention of cash flow (subject to provisions in the Internal Revenue Code concerning taxability of undistributed REIT taxable income) or a combination of these methods.
Borrowings may be in the form of bank borrowings, secured or unsecured, and publicly or privately placed debt instruments, purchase money obligations to the sellers of assets, long-term, tax-exempt bonds or financing from banks, institutional investors or other lenders, or securitizations, any of which indebtedness may be unsecured or may be secured by mortgages or other interests in our assets. Holders of such indebtedness may have recourse to all or any part of our assets or may be limited to the particular asset to which the indebtedness relates.
We have authority to offer our common stock or other equity or debt securities in exchange for property and to repurchase or otherwise reacquire our shares or any other securities and may engage in such activities in the future.
Subject to the percentage of ownership limitations and gross income and asset tests necessary for REIT qualification, we may invest in securities of other REITs, other entities engaged in real estate activities or securities of other issuers, including for the purpose of exercising control over such entities.
We may engage in the purchase and sale of investments. We do not underwrite the securities of other issuers.
Our officers and directors may change any of these policies without a vote of our stockholders.
In the opinion of our management, our properties are adequately covered by insurance.
As of February 17, 2006, the executive officers of our company were:
C. Taylor Pickett (44) is the Chief Executive Officer and has served in this capacity since June, 2001. Mr. Pickett is also a Director and has served in this capacity since May 30, 2002. Mr. Picketts term as a Director expires in 2008. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Pickett served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from January 1998 to June 2001 of Integrated Health Services, Inc., a public company specializing in post-acute healthcare services. He also served as Executive Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions from May 1997 to December 1997 of Integrated Health Services, Inc. Prior to his roles as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions, Mr. Pickett served as the President of Symphony Health Services, Inc. from January 1996 to May 1997.
Daniel J. Booth (42) is the Chief Operating Officer and has served in this capacity since October, 2001. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Booth served as a member of Integrated Health Services management team since 1993, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Finance. Prior to joining Integrated Health Services, Mr. Booth was Vice President in the Healthcare Lending Division of Maryland National Bank (now Bank of America).
R. Lee Crabill, Jr. (52) is the Senior Vice President of Operations of our company and has served in this capacity since July, 2001. Mr. Crabill served as a Senior Vice President of Operations at Mariner Post-Acute Network, Inc. from 1997 through 2000. Prior to that, he served as an Executive Vice President of Operations at Beverly Enterprises.
Robert O. Stephenson (42) is the Chief Financial Officer and has served in this capacity since August, 2001. Prior to joining our company, Mr. Stephenson served from 1996 to July 2001 as the Senior Vice President and Treasurer of Integrated Health Services, Inc. Prior to Integrated Health Services, Mr. Stephenson held various positions at CSX Intermodal, Inc., Martin Marietta Corporation and Electronic Data Systems.
As of December 31, 2005, we had 17 full-time employees, including the four executive officers listed above.
You should carefully consider the risks described below. These risks are not the only ones that we may face. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are unaware of, or that we currently deem immaterial, also may become important factors that affect us. If any of the following risks occurs, our business, financial condition or results of operations could be materially and adversely affected.
Risks Related to the Operators of Our Facilities
Our financial position could be weakened and our ability to fulfill our obligations under our indebtedness could be limited if any of our major operators were unable to meet their obligations to us or failed to renew or extend their relationship with us as their lease terms expire, or if we were unable to lease or re-lease our facilities or make mortgage loans on economically favorable terms. These adverse developments could arise due to a number of factors, including those listed below.
Our recent efforts to restructure and stabilize our portfolio may not prove to be successful.
In large part as a result of the 1997 changes in Medicare reimbursement of services provided by SNFs and reimbursement cuts imposed under state Medicaid programs, a number of operators of our properties have encountered significant financial difficulties during the last several years. In 1999, our investment portfolio consisted of 216 properties and our largest public operators (by investment) were Sun Healthcare Group, Inc. (Sun), Integrated Health Services (IHS), Advocat, Inc. (Advocat), and Mariner Health Care, Inc. (Mariner). Some of these operators, including Sun, IHS and Mariner, subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection. Other of our operators were required to undertake significant restructuring efforts. We have restructured our arrangements with many of our operators whereby we have renegotiated lease and mortgage terms, re-leased properties to new operators and have closed and/or disposed of properties. At December 31, 2005, our investment portfolio consisted of 227 properties and our largest public operators (by investment) were Sun (15%) and Advocat (10%). Our largest private company operators (by investment) were CommuniCare Health Services (CommuniCare) (17%), Haven Eldercare, LLC (Haven) (11%), Guardian LTC Management, Inc. (Guardian) (7%), and Essex Healthcare Corporation (Essex) (7%). We cannot assure you that our recent efforts to restructure and stabilize our property portfolio will be successful.
The bankruptcy, insolvency or financial deterioration of our operators could delay our ability to collect unpaid rents or require us to find new operators for rejected facilities.
We are exposed to the risk that our operators may not be able to meet their obligations, which may result in their bankruptcy or insolvency. Although our leases and loans provide us the right to terminate an investment, evict an operator, demand immediate repayment and other remedies, title 11 of the United States Code, 11 U.S.C. §§ 101-1330, as amended and supplemented, (the Bankruptcy Code), affords certain protections to a party that has filed for bankruptcy that would probably render certain of these remedies unenforceable, or, at the very least, delay our ability to pursue such remedies. In addition, an operator in bankruptcy may be able to restrict our ability to collect unpaid rent or mortgage payments during the bankruptcy case.
Furthermore, the receipt of liquidation proceeds or the replacement of an operator that has defaulted on its lease or loan could be delayed by the approval process of any federal, state or local agency necessary for the transfer of the property or the replacement of the operator licensed to manage the facility. In addition, some significant expenditures associated with real estate investment, such as real estate taxes and maintenance costs, are generally not reduced when circumstances cause a reduction in income from the investment. In order to protect our investments, we may take possession of a property or even become licensed as an operator, which might expose us to successor liability under government programs (or otherwise) or require us to indemnify subsequent operators to whom we might transfer the operating rights and licenses. Third-party payors may also suspend payments to us following foreclosure until we receive the required licenses to operate the facilities. Should such events occur, our income and cash flow from operations would be adversely affected.
A debtor may have the right to assume or reject a lease with us under bankruptcy law and his or her decision could delay or limit our ability to collect rents thereunder.
If one or more of our lessees files bankruptcy relief, the Bankruptcy Code provides that a debtor has the option to assume or reject the unexpired lease within a certain period of time. However, our lease arrangements with operators that operate more than one of our facilities are generally made pursuant to a single master lease covering all of that operators facilities leased from us, and consequently, it is possible that in bankruptcy the debtor-lessee may be required to assume or reject the master lease as a whole, rather than making the decision on a facility by facility basis, thereby preventing the debtor-lessee from assuming only the better performing
facilities and terminating the leasing arrangement with respect to the poorer performing facilities. The Bankruptcy Code generally requires that a debtor must assume or reject a contract in its entirety. Thus, a debtor cannot choose to keep the beneficial provisions of a contract while rejecting the burdensome ones; the contract must be assumed or rejected as a whole. However, where under applicable law a contract (even though it is contained in a single document) is determined to be divisible or severable into different agreements, or similarly where a collection of documents are determined to constitute separate agreements instead of a single, integrated contract, then in those circumstances a debtor/trustee may be allowed to assume some of the divisible or separate agreements while rejecting the others. Whether a master lease agreement would be determined to be a single contract or a divisible agreement, and hence whether a bankruptcy court would require a master lease agreement to be assumed or rejected as a whole, would depend on a number of factors some of which may include, but may not necessarily be limited to, the following:
· applicable state law;
· the parties intent;
· whether the master lease agreement and related documents were executed contemporaneously;
· the nature and purpose of the relevant documents;
· whether the obligations in various documents are independent;
· whether the leases are coterminous;
· whether a single check is paid for all properties;
· whether rent is apportioned among the leases;
· whether termination of one lease constitutes termination of all;
· whether the leases may be separately assigned or sublet;
· whether separate consideration exists for each lease; and
· whether there are cross-default provisions.
The Bankruptcy Code provides that a debtor has the power and the option to assume, assume and assign to a third party, or reject the unexpired lease. In the event that the unexpired lease is assumed on behalf of the debtor-lessee, obligations under the lease generally would be entitled to administrative priority over other unsecured pre-bankruptcy claims. If the debtor chooses to assume the lease (or assume and assign the lease), then the debtor is required to cure all monetary defaults, or provide adequate assurance that it will promptly cure such defaults. However, the debtor-lessee may not have to cure historical non-monetary defaults under the lease to the extent that they have not resulted in an actual pecuniary loss, but the debtor-lessee must cure non-monetary defaults under the lease from the time of assumption going forward. A debtor must generally pay all rent payments coming due under the lease after the bankruptcy filing but before the assumption or rejection of the lease. The Bankruptcy Code provides that the debtor-lessee must make the decision regarding assumption, assignment or rejection within a certain period of time. For cases filed on or after October 17, 2005, the time period to make the decision is 120 days, subject to one extension for cause. A bankruptcy court may only further extend this period for 90 days unless the lessor consents in writing.
If a tenant rejects a lease under the Bankruptcy Code, it is deemed to be a pre-petition breach of the lease, and the lessors claim arising therefrom may be limited to any unpaid rent already due plus an amount equal to the rent reserved under the lease, without acceleration, for the greater of one year, and 15%, not to exceed three years, of the remaining term of such lease, following the earlier of the petition date and repossession or surrender of the leased property. If the debtor rejects the lease, the facility would be returned to us. In that event, if we were unable to re-lease the facility to a new operator on favorable terms or only after a significant delay, we could lose some or all of the associated revenue from that facility for an extended period of time.
With respect to our mortgage loans, the imposition of an automatic stay under bankruptcy law could negatively impact our ability to foreclose or seek other remedies against a mortgagor.
Generally, with respect to our mortgage loans, the imposition of an automatic stay under the Bankruptcy Code precludes us from exercising foreclosure or other remedies against the debtor without first obtaining stay relief from the bankruptcy court. Pre-petition creditors generally do not have rights to the cash flows from the properties underlying the mortgages unless their security interest in the property includes such cash flows. Mortgagees may, however, receive periodic payments from the debtor/mortgagors. Such payments are referred to as adequate protection payments. The timing of adequate protection payments and whether the mortgagees are entitled to such payments depends on negotiating an acceptable settlement with the mortgagor (subject to approval of the bankruptcy court) or on the order of the bankruptcy court in the event a negotiated settlement cannot be achieved.
A mortgagee also is treated differently from a landlord in three key respects. First, the mortgage loan is not subject to assumption, assumption and assignment, or rejection. Second, the mortgagees loan may be divided into a secured claim for the
portion of the mortgage debt that does not exceed the value of the property securing the debt and a general unsecured claim for the portion of the mortgage debt that exceeds the value of the property. A secured creditor such as our company is entitled to the recovery of interest and reasonable fees, costs and charges provided for under the agreement under which such claim arose only if, and to the extent that, the value of the collateral exceeds the amount owed. If the value of the collateral exceeds the amount of the debt, interest as well as reasonable fees, costs, and charges may not be paid during the bankruptcy case, but will accrue until confirmation of a plan of reorganization/liquidation or such other time as the court orders unless the debtor voluntarily makes a payment. If the value of the collateral held by a secured creditor is less than the secured debt (including such creditors secured debt and the secured debt of any creditor with a more senior security interest in the collateral), interest on the loan for the time period between the filing of the case and confirmation may be disallowed. Finally, while a lease generally would either be assumed, assumed and assigned, or rejected with all of its benefits and burdens intact, the terms of a mortgage, including the rate of interest and the timing of principal payments, may be modified under certain circumstances if the debtor is able to effect a cram down under the Bankruptcy Code. Before such a cram down is allowed, the Bankruptcy Court must conclude that the treatment of the secured creditors claim is fair and equitable.
If an operator files bankruptcy, our leases with the debtor could be recharacterized as a financing agreement, which could negatively impact our rights under the lease.
Another risk regarding our leases is that in an operators bankruptcy the leases could be re-characterized as a financing agreement. In making such a determination, a bankruptcy court may consider certain factors, which may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
· whether rent is calculated to provide a return on investment rather than to compensate the lessor for loss, use and possession of the property;
· whether the property is purchased specifically for the lessees use or whether the lessee selected, inspected, contracted for, and received the property;
· whether the transaction is structured solely to obtain tax advantages;
· whether the lessee is entitled to obtain ownership of the property at the expiration of the lease, and whether any option purchase price is unrelated to the value of the land; and
· whether the lessee assumed many of the obligations associated with outright ownership of the property, including responsibility for property taxes and insurance.
If an operator defaults under one of our mortgage loans, we may have to foreclose on the mortgage or protect our interest by acquiring title to the property and thereafter making substantial improvements or repairs in order to maximize the facilitys investment potential. Operators may contest enforcement of foreclosure or other remedies, seek bankruptcy protection against our exercise of enforcement or other remedies and/or bring claims for lender liability in response to actions to enforce mortgage obligations. If an operator seeks bankruptcy protection, the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code would preclude us from enforcing foreclosure or other remedies against the operator unless relief is first obtained from the court having jurisdiction over the bankruptcy case. High loan to value ratios or declines in the value of the facility may prevent us from realizing an amount equal to our mortgage loan upon foreclosure.
Operators that fail to comply with the requirements of governmental reimbursement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid, licensing and certification requirements, fraud and abuse regulations or new legislative developments may be unable to meet their obligations to us.
Our operators are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws and regulations that are subject to frequent and substantial changes (sometimes applied retroactively) resulting from legislation, adoption of rules and regulations, and administrative and judicial interpretations of existing law. The ultimate timing or effect of these changes cannot be predicted. These changes may have a dramatic effect on our operators costs of doing business and on the amount of reimbursement by both government and other third-party payors. The failure of any of our operators to comply with these laws, requirements and regulations could adversely affect their ability to meet their obligations to us. In particular:
· Medicare and Medicaid. A significant portion of our SNF operators revenue is derived from governmentally-funded reimbursement programs, primarily Medicare and Medicaid, and failure to maintain certification and accreditation in these programs would result in a loss of funding from such programs. Loss of certification or accreditation could cause the revenues of our operators to decline, potentially jeopardizing their ability to meet their obligations to us. In that event, our revenues from those facilities could be reduced, which could in turn cause the value of our affected properties
to decline. State licensing and Medicare and Medicaid laws also require operators of nursing homes and assisted living facilities to comply with extensive standards governing operations. Federal and state agencies administering those laws regularly inspect such facilities and investigate complaints. Our operators and their managers receive notices of potential sanctions and remedies from time to time, and such sanctions have been imposed from time to time on facilities operated by them. If they are unable to cure deficiencies which have been identified or which are identified in the future, such sanctions may be imposed and if imposed may adversely affect our operators revenues, potentially jeopardizing their ability to meet their obligations to us.
· Licensing and Certification. Our operators and facilities are subject to regulatory and licensing requirements of federal, state and local authorities and are periodically audited by them to confirm compliance. Failure to obtain licensure or loss or suspension of licensure would prevent a facility from operating or result in a suspension of reimbursement payments until all licensure issues have been resolved and the necessary licenses obtained or reinstated. Our SNFs require governmental approval, in the form of a certificate of need that generally varies by state and is subject to change, prior to the addition or construction of new beds, the addition of services or certain capital expenditures. Some of our facilities may be unable to satisfy current and future certificate of need requirements and may for this reason be unable to continue operating in the future. In such event, our revenues from those facilities could be reduced or eliminated for an extended period of time or permanently.
· Fraud and Abuse Laws and Regulations. There are various extremely complex and largely uninterpreted federal and state laws governing a wide array of referrals, relationships and arrangements and prohibiting fraud by healthcare providers, including criminal provisions that prohibit filing false claims or making false statements to receive payment or certification under Medicare and Medicaid, or failing to refund overpayments or improper payments. Governments are devoting increasing attention and resources to anti-fraud initiatives against healthcare providers. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and the Balanced Budget Act expanded the penalties for healthcare fraud, including broader provisions for the exclusion of providers from the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Furthermore, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in cooperation with other federal and state agencies continues to focus on the activities of SNFs in certain states in which we have properties. In addition, the federal False Claims Act allows a private individual with knowledge of fraud to bring a claim on behalf of the federal government and earn a percentage of the federal governments recovery. Because of these incentives, these so-called whistleblower suits have become more frequent. The violation of any of these laws or regulations by an operator may result in the imposition of fines or other penalties that could jeopardize that operators ability to make lease or mortgage payments to us or to continue operating its facility.
· Legislative and Regulatory Developments. Each year, legislative proposals are introduced or proposed in Congress and in some state legislatures that would affect major changes in the healthcare system, either nationally or at the state level. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, or Medicare Modernization Act, which is one example of such legislation, was enacted in late 2003. The Medicare reimbursement changes for the long term care industry under this Act are limited to a temporary increase in the per diem amount paid to SNFs for residents who have AIDS. The significant expansion of other benefits for Medicare beneficiaries under this Act, such as the expanded prescription drug benefit, could result in financial pressures on the Medicare program that might result in future legislative and regulatory changes with impacts for our operators. Other proposals under consideration include efforts by individual states to control costs by decreasing state Medicaid reimbursements, a federal Patient Protection Act to protect consumers in managed care plans, efforts to improve quality of care and reduce medical errors throughout the health care industry and cost-containment initiatives by public and private payors. We cannot accurately predict whether any proposals will be adopted or, if adopted, what effect, if any, these proposals would have on operators and, thus, our business.
Regulatory proposals and rules are released on an ongoing basis that may have major impacts on the healthcare system generally and the skilled nursing and long-term care industries in particular.
Our operators depend on reimbursement from governmental and other third-party payors and reimbursement rates from such payors may be reduced.
Changes in the reimbursement rate or methods of payment from third-party payors, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or the implementation of other measures to reduce reimbursements for services provided by our operators has in the past, and could in the future, result in a substantial reduction in our operators revenues and operating margins. Additionally, net revenue
realizable under third-party payor agreements can change after examination and retroactive adjustment by payors during the claims settlement processes or as a result of post-payment audits. Payors may disallow requests for reimbursement based on determinations that certain costs are not reimbursable or reasonable or because additional documentation is necessary or because certain services were not covered or were not medically necessary. There also continue to be new legislative and regulatory proposals that could impose further limitations on government and private payments to healthcare providers. In some cases, states have enacted or are considering enacting measures designed to reduce their Medicaid expenditures and to make changes to private healthcare insurance. We cannot assure you that adequate reimbursement levels will continue to be available for the services provided by our operators, which are currently being reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid or private third-party payors. Further limits on the scope of services reimbursed and on reimbursement rates could have a material adverse effect on our operators liquidity, financial condition and results of operations, which could cause the revenues of our operators to decline and potentially jeopardize their ability to meet their obligations to us.
Our operators may be subject to significant legal actions that could subject them to increased operating costs and substantial uninsured liabilities, which may affect their ability to pay their lease and mortgage payments to us.
As is typical in the healthcare industry, our operators are often subject to claims that their services have resulted in resident injury or other adverse effects. Many of these operators have experienced an increasing trend in the frequency and severity of professional liability and general liability insurance claims and litigation asserted against them. The insurance coverage maintained by our operators may not cover all claims made against them nor continue to be available at a reasonable cost, if at all. In some states, insurance coverage for the risk of punitive damages arising from professional liability and general liability claims and/or litigation may not, in certain cases, be available to operators due to state law prohibitions or limitations of availability. As a result, our operators operating in these states may be liable for punitive damage awards that are either not covered or are in excess of their insurance policy limits. We also believe that there has been, and will continue to be, an increase in governmental investigations of long-term care providers, particularly in the area of Medicare/Medicaid false claims, as well as an increase in enforcement actions resulting from these investigations. Insurance is not available to cover such losses. Any adverse determination in a legal proceeding or governmental investigation, whether currently asserted or arising in the future, could have a material adverse effect on an operators financial condition. If an operator is unable to obtain or maintain insurance coverage, if judgments are obtained in excess of the insurance coverage, if an operator is required to pay uninsured punitive damages, or if an operator is subject to an uninsurable government enforcement action, the operator could be exposed to substantial additional liabilities.
Increased competition as well as increased operating costs have resulted in lower revenues for some of our operators and may affect the ability of our tenants to meet their payment obligations to us.
The healthcare industry is highly competitive and we expect that it may become more competitive in the future. Our operators are competing 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 the operators of all of our facilities will be able to achieve occupancy and rate levels that will enable them to meet all of their obligations to us. Our operators may encounter increased competition in the future that could limit their ability to attract residents or expand their businesses and therefore affect their ability to pay their lease or mortgage payments.
The market for qualified nurses, healthcare professionals and other key personnel is highly competitive and our operators may experience difficulties in attracting and retaining qualified personnel. Increases in labor costs due to higher wages and greater benefits required to attract and retain qualified healthcare personnel incurred by our operators could affect their ability to pay their lease or mortgage payments. This situation could be particularly acute in certain states that have enacted legislation establishing minimum staffing requirements.
Risks Related to Us and Our Operations
In addition to the operator related risks discussed above, there are a number of risks directly associated with us and our operations.
We rely on external sources of capital to fund future capital needs, and if we encounter difficulty in obtaining such capital, we may not be able to make future investments necessary to grow our business or meet maturing commitments.
In order to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code, we are required, among other things, to distribute each year to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income. Because of this distribution requirement, we may not be able to fund, from
cash retained from operations, all future capital needs, including capital needs to make investments and to satisfy or refinance maturing commitments. As a result, we rely on external sources of capital, including debt and equity financing. If we are unable to obtain needed capital at all or only on unfavorable terms from these sources, we might not be able to make the investments needed to grow our business, or to meet our obligations and commitments as they mature, which could negatively affect the ratings of our debt and even, in extreme circumstances, affect our ability to continue operations. Our access to capital depends upon a number of factors over which we have little or no control, including general market conditions and the markets perception of our growth potential and our current and potential future earnings and cash distributions and the market price of the shares of our capital stock. Generally speaking, difficult capital market conditions in our industry during the past several years and our need to stabilize our portfolio have limited our access to capital. The related party tenant issue discussed in Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements to our audited consolidated financial statements below may make it more difficult for us to raise additional capital unless and until we enter into a closing agreement with the IRS or otherwise resolve such issue. While we currently have sufficient cash flow from operations to fund our obligations and commitments, we may not be in position to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities for growth in the event that we are unable to access the capital markets on a timely basis or we are only able to obtain financing on unfavorable terms.
Our ability to raise capital through sales of equity is dependent, in part, on the market price of our common stock, and our failure to meet market expectations with respect to our business could negatively impact the market price of our common stock and limit our ability to sell equity.
As with other publicly-traded companies, the availability of equity capital will depend, in part, on the market price of our common stock which, in turn, will depend upon various market conditions and other factors that may change from time to time including:
· the extent of investor interest;
· the general reputation of REITs and the attractiveness of their equity securities in comparison to other equity securities, including securities issued by other real estate-based companies;
· our financial performance and that of our operators;
· the contents of analyst reports about us and the REIT industry;
· general stock and bond market conditions, including changes in interest rates on fixed income securities, which may lead prospective purchasers of our common stock to demand a higher annual yield from future distributions;
· our failure to maintain or increase our dividend, which is dependent, to a large part, on growth of funds from operations which in turn depends upon increased revenues from additional investments and rental increases; and
· other factors such as governmental regulatory action and changes in REIT tax laws.
The market value of the equity securities of a REIT is generally based upon the markets perception of the REITs growth potential and its current and potential future earnings and cash distributions. Our failure to meet the markets expectation with regard to future earnings and cash distributions would likely adversely affect the market price of our common stock.
We are subject to risks associated with debt financing, which could negatively impact our business, limit our ability to make distributions to our stockholders and to repay maturing debt.
Financing for future investments and our maturing commitments may be provided by borrowings under our revolving senior secured credit facility (Credit Facility), private or public offerings of debt, the assumption of secured indebtedness, mortgage financing on a portion of our owned portfolio or through joint ventures. We are subject to risks normally associated with debt financing, including the risks that our cash flow will be insufficient to make timely payments of interest, that we will be unable to refinance existing indebtedness and that the terms of refinancing will not be as favorable as the terms of existing indebtedness. If we are unable to refinance or extend principal payments due at maturity or pay them with proceeds from other capital transactions, our cash flow may not be sufficient in all years to pay distributions to our stockholders and to repay all maturing debt. Furthermore, if prevailing interest rates, changes in our debt ratings or other factors at the time of refinancing result in higher interest rates upon refinancing, the interest expense relating to that refinanced indebtedness would increase, which could reduce our profitability and the amount of dividends we are able to pay. Moreover, additional debt financing increases the amount of our leverage.
Certain of our operators account for a significant percentage of our revenues.
Based on existing contractual rent and lease payments regarding the restructuring of certain existing investments, as of December 31, 2005, Advocat and Sun each account for over 10% of our current contractual monthly revenues, with Sun accounting for approximately 20% of our current contractual monthly revenues. Additionally, as of December 31, 2005, our top seven operators account for approximately 62% of our current contractual monthly revenues. The failure or inability of any of these operators to pay their obligations to us could materially reduce our revenues and net income, which could in turn reduce the amount of dividends we pay and cause our stock price to decline.
Unforeseen costs associated with the acquisition of new properties could reduce our profitability.
Our business strategy contemplates future acquisitions that may not prove to be successful. For example, we might encounter unanticipated difficulties and expenditures relating to any acquired properties, including contingent liabilities, or newly acquired properties might require significant management attention that would otherwise be devoted to our ongoing business. If we agree to provide funding to enable healthcare operators to build, expand or renovate facilities on our properties and the project is not completed, we could be forced to become involved in the development to ensure completion or we could lose the property. These costs may negatively affect our results of operations.
Our assets may be subject to impairment charges.
We periodically, but not less than annually, evaluate our real estate investments and other assets for impairment indicators. The judgment regarding the existence of impairment indicators is based on factors such as market conditions, operator performance and legal structure. If we determine that a significant impairment has occurred, we would be required to make an adjustment to the net carrying value of the asset, which could have a material adverse affect on our results of operations and funds from operations in the period in which the write-off occurs. During the year ended December 31, 2005, a $9.6 million provision for impairment charge was recorded to reduce the carrying value on six facilities to their estimated fair value.
We may not be able to sell certain closed facilities for their book value.
From time to time, we close facilities and actively market such facilities for sale. To the extent we are unable to sell these properties for our book value; we may be required to take a non-cash impairment charge or loss on the sale, either of which would reduce our net income.
Our substantial indebtedness could adversely affect our financial condition.
We have substantial indebtedness and we may increase our indebtedness in the future. As of December 31, 2005, we had total debt of approximately $566 million, of which $58 million consisted of borrowings under our Credit Facility, $21 million of which consisted of our 6.95% notes due 2007 that were fully redeemed on January 18, 2006, $310 million of which consisted of our 7% senior notes due 2014 and $175 million of which consisted of our 7% senior notes due 2016. Our level of indebtedness could have important consequences to our stockholders. For example, it could:
· limit our ability to satisfy our obligations with respect to holders of our capital stock;
· increase our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
· limit our ability to obtain additional financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate requirements, or to carry out other aspects of our business plan;
· require us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on indebtedness, thereby reducing the availability of such cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate requirements, or to carry out other aspects of our business plan;
· require us to pledge as collateral substantially all of our assets;
· require us to maintain certain debt coverage and financial ratios at specified levels, thereby reducing our financial flexibility;
· limit our ability to make material acquisitions or take advantage of business opportunities that may arise;
· expose us to fluctuations in interest rates, to the extent our borrowings bear variable rates of interests;
· limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and industry; and
· place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors that have less debt.
Our real estate investments are relatively illiquid.
Real estate investments are relatively illiquid and, therefore, tend to limit our ability to vary our portfolio promptly in response to changes in economic or other conditions. All of our properties are special purpose properties that could not be readily converted to general residential, retail or office use. Healthcare facilities that participate in Medicare or Medicaid must meet extensive program requirements, including physical plant and operational requirements, which are revised from time to time. Such requirements may include a duty to admit Medicare and Medicaid patients, limiting the ability of the facility to increase its private pay census beyond certain limits. Medicare and Medicaid facilities are regularly inspected to determine compliance and may be excluded from the programsin some cases without a prior hearingfor failure to meet program requirements. Transfers of operations of nursing homes and other healthcare-related facilities are subject to regulatory approvals not required for transfers of other types of commercial operations and other types of real estate. Thus, if the operation of any of our properties becomes unprofitable due to competition, age of improvements or other factors such that our lessee or mortgagor becomes unable to meet its obligations on the lease or mortgage loan, the liquidation value of the property may be substantially less, particularly relative to the amount owing on any related mortgage loan, than would be the case if the property were readily adaptable to other uses. The receipt of liquidation proceeds or the replacement of an operator that has defaulted on its lease or loan could be delayed by the approval process of any federal, state or local agency necessary for the transfer of the property or the replacement of the operator with a new operator licensed to manage the facility. In addition, certain significant expenditures associated with real estate investment, such as real estate taxes and maintenance costs, are generally not reduced when circumstances cause a reduction in income from the investment. Should such events occur, our income and cash flows from operations would be adversely affected.
As an owner or lender with respect to real property, we may be exposed to possible environmental liabilities.
Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner of real property or a secured lender, such as us, may be liable in certain circumstances for the costs of investigation, removal or remediation of, or related releases of, certain hazardous or toxic substances at, under or disposed of in connection with such property, as well as certain other potential costs relating to hazardous or toxic substances, including government fines and damages for injuries to persons and adjacent property. Such laws often impose liability without regard to whether the owner knew of, or was responsible for, the presence or disposal of such substances and liability may be imposed on the owner in connection with the activities of an operator of the property. The cost of any required investigation, remediation, removal, fines or personal or property damages and the owners liability therefore could exceed 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 our operators ability to attract additional residents, the owners ability to sell or rent such property or to borrow using such property as collateral which, in turn, would reduce the owners revenues.
Although our leases and mortgage loans require the lessee and the mortgagor to indemnify us for certain environmental liabilities, the scope of such obligations may be limited. For instance, most of our leases do not require the lessee to indemnify us for environmental liabilities arising before the lessee took possession of the premises. Further, we cannot assure you that any such mortgagor or lessee would be able to fulfill its indemnification obligations.
The industry in which we operate is highly competitive. This competition may prevent us from raising prices at the same pace as our costs increase.
We compete for additional healthcare facility investments with other healthcare investors, including other REITs. The operators of the facilities compete with other regional or local nursing care facilities for the support of the medical community, including physicians and acute care hospitals, as well as the general public. Some significant competitive factors for the placing of patients in skilled and intermediate care nursing facilities include quality of care, reputation, physical appearance of the facilities, services offered, family preferences, physician services and price. If our cost of capital should increase relative to the cost of capital of our competitors, the spread that we realize on our investments may decline if competitive pressures limit or prevent us from charging higher lease or mortgage rates.
We are named as defendants in litigation arising out of professional liability and general liability claims relating to our previously owned and operated facilities that if decided against us, could adversely affect our financial condition.
We and several of our wholly-owned subsidiaries have been named as defendants in professional liability and general liability claims related to our owned and operated facilities. Other third-party managers responsible for the day-to-day operations of these facilities have also been named as defendants in these claims. In these suits, patients of certain previously owned and operated
facilities have alleged significant damages, including punitive damages, against the defendants. The lawsuits are in various stages of discovery and we are unable to predict the likely outcome at this time. We continue to vigorously defend these claims and pursue all rights we may have against the managers of the facilities, under the terms of the management agreements. We have insured these matters, subject to self-insured retentions of various amounts. There can be no assurance that we will be successful in our defense of these matters or in asserting our claims against various managers of the subject facilities or that the amount of any settlement or judgment will be substantially covered by insurance or that any punitive damages will be covered by insurance.
We are subject to significant anti-takeover provisions.
Our articles of incorporation and bylaws contain various procedural and other requirements which could make it difficult for stockholders to effect certain corporate actions. Our Board of Directors is divided into three classes and our Board members are elected for terms that are staggered. Our Board of Directors also has the authority to issue additional shares of preferred stock and to fix the preferences, rights and limitations of the preferred stock without stockholder approval. We have also adopted a stockholders rights plan which provides for share purchase rights to become exercisable at a discount if a person or group acquires more than 9.9% of our common stock or announces a tender or exchange offer for more than 9.9% of our common stock. These provisions could discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or make it more difficult for a third party to gain control of us, which could adversely affect the market price of our securities.
We may change our investment strategies and policies and capital structure.
Our Board of Directors, without the approval of our stockholders, may alter our investment strategies and policies if it determines in the future that a change is in our stockholders best interests. The methods of implementing our investment strategies and policies may vary as new investments and financing techniques are developed.
If we fail to maintain our REIT status, we will be subject to federal income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates.
We were organized to qualify for taxation as a REIT under Sections 856 through 860 of the Internal Revenue Code. Except with respect to the potential Advocat related party tenant issue discussed below, we believe we have conducted, and we intend to continue to conduct, our operations so as to qualify as a REIT. Qualification as a REIT involves the satisfaction of numerous requirements, some on an annual and some on a quarterly basis, established under highly technical and complex provisions of the Internal Revenue Code for which there are only limited judicial and administrative interpretations and involve the determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control. We cannot assure you that we will at all times satisfy these rules and tests.
If we were to fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, as a result of a determination that we failed to meet the annual distribution requirement or otherwise, we would be subject to federal income tax, including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates with respect to each such taxable year for which the statute of limitations remains open. Moreover, unless entitled to relief under certain statutory provisions, we also would be disqualified from treatment as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification is lost. This treatment would significantly reduce our net earnings and cash flow because of our additional tax liability for the years involved, which could significantly impact our financial condition.
In connection with exploring the potential disposition of the Advocat Series B preferred stock, we were advised by our tax counsel that due to the structure of the Series B preferred stock issued by Advocat to us in 2000 in connection with a prior restructuring, Advocat may be deemed to be a related party tenant under applicable federal income tax rules and, in such event, rental income from Advocat would not be qualifying income under the gross income tests that are applicable to REITs. In order to maintain qualification as a REIT, we annually must satisfy certain tests regarding the source of our gross income. The applicable federal income tax rules provide a savings clause for REITs that fail to satisfy the REIT gross income tests, if such failure is due to reasonable cause. A REIT that qualifies for the savings clause will retain its REIT status but will pay a tax. We currently plan to submit to the IRS a request for a closing agreement to resolve the related party tenant issue. While we believe there are valid arguments that Advocat should not be deemed a related party tenant, the matter is not free from doubt, and we believe it is in our best interest to request a closing agreement in order to resolve the matter, minimize potential penalties and obtain assurances regarding our continuing REIT status. By submitting a request for a closing agreement, we intend to establish that any failure to satisfy the gross income tests was due to reasonable cause. In the event that it is determined that the savings clause described above does not apply, we could be treated as having failed to qualify as a REIT for one or more taxable years. If we fail to qualify for taxation as a
REIT for any taxable year, our income will be taxed at regular corporate rates, and we could be disqualified as a REIT for the following four taxable years.
To maintain our REIT status, we must distribute at least 90% of our taxable income each year.
We generally must distribute annually at least 90% of our taxable income to our stockholders to maintain our REIT status. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain or do distribute at least 90%, but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax thereon at regular ordinary and capital gain corporate tax rates.
Even if we remain qualified as a REIT, we may face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow.
Even if we remain qualified for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets, including taxes on any undistributed income, tax on income from some activities conducted as a result of a foreclosure, and state or local income, property and transfer taxes. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for the payment of our debt obligations. In addition, we may derive income through Taxable REIT Subsidiaries (TRSs), which will then be subject to corporate level income tax at regular rates.
Complying with REIT requirements may affect our profitability.
To qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes, we must continually satisfy tests concerning, among other things, the nature and diversification of our assets, the sources of our income and the amounts we distribute to our stockholders. Thus we may be required to liquidate otherwise attractive investments from our portfolio in order to satisfy the asset and income tests or to qualify under certain statutory relief provisions. We may also be required to make distributions to stockholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution (e.g., if we have assets which generate mismatches between taxable income and available cash). Then, having to comply with the distribution requirement could cause us to: (i) sell assets in adverse market conditions, (ii) borrow on unfavorable terms or (iii) distribute amounts that would otherwise be invested in future acquisitions, capital expenditures or repayment of debt. As a result, satisfying the REIT requirements could have an adverse effect on our business results and profitability.
We depend upon our key employees and may be unable to attract or retain sufficient numbers of qualified personnel.
Our future performance depends to a significant degree upon the continued contributions of our executive management team and other key employees. Accordingly, our future success depends on our ability to attract, hire, train and retain highly skilled management and other qualified personnel. Competition for qualified employees is intense, and we compete for qualified employees with companies that may have greater financial resources than we have. Our employment agreements with our executive officers provide that their employment may be terminated by either party at any time. Consequently, we may not be successful in attracting, hiring, and training and retaining the people we need, which would seriously impede our ability to implement our business strategy.
In the event we are unable to satisfy regulatory requirements relating to internal controls, or if these internal controls over financial reporting are not effective, our business could suffer.
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires companies to do a comprehensive evaluation of their internal controls. As a result, we continue to evaluate our internal controls over financial reporting so that our management can certify as to the effectiveness of our internal controls and our auditor can publicly attest to this certification. Our efforts to comply with Section 404 and related regulations regarding our managements required assessment of internal control over financial reporting and our independent auditors attestation of that assessment has required, and continues to require, the commitment of significant financial and managerial resources. If for any period our management is unable to certify the effectiveness of our internal controls or if our auditors cannot attest to managements certification, we could be subject to regulatory scrutiny and a loss of public confidence, which could have an adverse effect on our business.
Risks Related to Our Stock
The market value of our stock could be substantially affected by various factors.
The share price of our stock will depend on many factors, which may change from time to time, including:
· the market for similar securities issued by REITs;
· changes in estimates by analysts;
· our ability to meet analysts estimates;
· general economic and financial market conditions; and
· our financial condition, performance and prospects.
Our issuance of additional capital stock, warrants or debt securities, whether or not convertible, may reduce the market price for our shares.
We cannot predict the effect, if any, that future sale of our capital stock, warrants or debt securities, or the availability of our securities for future sale, will have on the market price of our shares, including our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock or preferred shares, warrants or debt securities convertible into or exercisable or exchangeable for common stock in the public market or the perception that such sales might occur could reduce the market price of our stock and the terms upon which we may obtain additional equity financing in the future.
In addition, we may issue additional capital stock in the future to raise capital or as a result of the following:
· The issuance and exercise of options to purchase our common stock. As of December 31, 2005, we had outstanding options to acquire approximately 0.2 million shares of our common stock. In addition, we may in the future issue additional options or other securities convertible into or exercisable for our common stock under our 2004 Stock Incentive Plan, our 2000 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended, or other remuneration plans we establish in the future. We may also issue options or convertible securities to our employees in lieu of cash bonuses or to our directors in lieu of directors fees.
· The issuance of shares pursuant to our dividend reinvestment and direct stock purchase plan.
· The issuance of debt securities exchangeable for our common stock.
· The exercise of warrants we may issue in the future.
· Lenders sometimes ask for warrants or other rights to acquire shares in connection with providing financing. We cannot assure you that our lenders will not request such rights.
There are no assurances of our ability to pay dividends in the future.
In 2001, our Board of Directors suspended dividends on our common stock and all series of preferred stock in an effort to generate cash to address then impending debt maturities. In 2003, we paid all accrued but unpaid dividends on all series of preferred stock and reinstated dividends on our common stock and all series of preferred stock. However, our ability to pay dividends may be adversely affected if any of the risks described above were to occur. Our payment of dividends is subject to compliance with restrictions contained in our Credit Facility, the indenture relating to our outstanding 7% senior notes due 2014, the indenture relating to our outstanding 7% senior notes due 2016 and our preferred stock. All dividends will be paid at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon our earnings, our financial condition, maintenance of our REIT status and such other factors as our Board may deem relevant from time to time. There are no assurances of our ability to pay dividends in the future. In addition, our dividends in the past have included, and may in the future include, a return of capital.
Holders of our outstanding preferred stock have liquidation and other rights that are senior to the rights of the holders of our common stock.
Our Board of Directors has the authority to designate and issue preferred stock that may have dividend, liquidation and other rights that are senior to those of our common stock. As of the date of this filing, 4,739,500 shares of our 8.375% Series D cumulative redeemable preferred stock were issued and outstanding. The aggregate liquidation preference with respect to this outstanding preferred stock is approximately $118.5 million, and annual dividends on our outstanding preferred stock are approximately $9.9 million. Holders of our preferred stock are generally entitled to cumulative dividends before any dividends may be declared or set aside on our common stock. Upon our voluntary or involuntary liquidation, dissolution or winding up, before any payment is made to
holders of our common stock, holders of our preferred stock are entitled to receive a liquidation preference of $25 per share with respect to the Series D preferred stock, plus any accrued and unpaid distributions. This will reduce the remaining amount of our assets, if any, available to distribute to holders of our common stock. In addition, holders of our preferred stock have the right to elect two additional directors to our Board of Directors if six quarterly preferred dividends are in arrears.
Legislative or regulatory action could adversely affect purchasers of our stock.
In recent years, numerous legislative, judicial and administrative changes have been made in the provisions of the federal income tax laws applicable to investments similar to an investment in our stock. Changes are likely to continue to occur in the future, and we cannot assure you that any of these changes will not adversely affect our stockholders stock. Any of these changes could have an adverse effect on an investment in our stock or on market value or resale potential. Stockholders are urged to consult with their own tax advisor with respect to the impact that recent legislation may have on their investment and the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect.
Recent changes in taxation of corporate dividends may adversely affect the value of our stock.
The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 that was enacted into law May 28, 2003, among other things, generally reduces to 15% the maximum marginal rate of tax payable by individuals on dividends received from a regular C corporation. This reduced tax rate, however, will not apply to dividends paid to individuals by a REIT on its shares, except for certain limited amounts. While the earnings of a REIT that are distributed to its stockholders still generally will be subject to less combined federal income taxation than earnings of a non-REIT C corporation that are distributed to its stockholders net of corporate-level tax, this legislation could cause individual investors to view the stock of regular C corporations as more attractive relative to the shares of a REIT than was the case prior to the enactment of the legislation. Individual investors could hold this view because the dividends from regular C corporations will generally be taxed at a lower rate while dividends from REITs will generally be taxed at the same rate as the individuals other ordinary income. We cannot predict what effect, if any, the enactment of this legislation may have on the value of the shares of REITs in general or on the value of our stock in particular, either in terms of price or relative to other investments.
At December 31, 2005, our real estate investments included long-term care facilities and rehabilitation hospital investments, either in the form of purchased facilities which are leased to operators, mortgages on facilities which are operated by the mortgagors or their affiliates and facilities subject to leasehold interests. The facilities are located in 27 states and are operated by 35 unaffiliated operators. The following table summarizes our property investments as of December 31, 2005:
(1) Represents the most recent data provided by our operators.
(2) Certain of our lease agreements contain purchase options that permit the lessees to purchase the underlying properties from us.
(3) In general, many of our mortgages contain prepayment provisions that permit prepayment of the outstanding principal amounts thereunder.
The following table presents the concentration of our facilities by state as of December 31, 2005:
Geographically Diverse Property Portfolio. Our portfolio of properties is broadly diversified by geographic location. We have healthcare facilities located in 27 states. Only one state comprised more than 10% of our rental and mortgage income in 2005. In addition, the majority of our 2005 rental and mortgage income was derived from facilities in states that require state approval for development and expansion of healthcare facilities. We believe that such state approvals may limit competition for our operators and enhance the value of our properties.
Large Number of Tenants. Our facilities are operated by 35 different public and private healthcare providers. Except for Sun, CommuniCare and Haven, which together hold approximately 43% of our portfolio (by investment), no single tenant holds greater than 10% of our portfolio (by investment).
Significant Number of Long-term Leases and Mortgage Loans. A large portion of our core portfolio consists of long-term lease and mortgage agreements. At December 31, 2005, approximately 95% of our leases and mortgages had primary terms that expire in 2010 or later. Our leased real estate properties are leased under provisions of single facility leases or master leases with initial terms typically ranging from 5 to 15 years, plus renewal options. Substantially all of the leases and master leases provide for minimum annual rentals that are subject to annual increases based upon increases in the CPI or increases in revenues of the underlying properties, with certain limits. Under the terms of the leases, the lessee is responsible for all maintenance, repairs, taxes and insurance on the leased properties.
We are subject to various legal proceedings, claims and other actions arising out of the normal course of business. While any legal proceeding or claim has an element of uncertainty, management believes that the outcome of each lawsuit, claim or legal proceeding that is pending or threatened, or all of them combined, will not have a material adverse effect on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
We and several of our wholly-owned subsidiaries have been named as defendants in professional liability claims related to our former owned and operated facilities. Other third-party managers responsible for the day-to-day operations of these facilities have also been named as defendants in these claims. In these suits, patients of certain previously owned and operated facilities have alleged significant damages, including punitive damages against the defendants. The majority of these lawsuits representing the most significant amount of exposure were settled in 2004. There currently is one lawsuit pending that is in the discovery stage, and we are unable to predict the likely outcome of this lawsuit at this time.
In 1999, we filed suit against a former tenant seeking damages based on claims of breach of contract. The defendants denied the allegations made in the lawsuit. In settlement of our claim against the defendants, we agreed in the fourth quarter of 2005 to accept a lump sum cash payment of $2.4 million. The cash proceeds were offset by related expenses incurred of $0.8 million, resulting in a net gain of $1.6 million paid December 22, 2005.
During the second quarter of 2005, we accrued $0.75 million for potential obligations relating to disputed capital improvement requirements associated with a lease that expired June 30, 2005. Although no formal complaint for damages was filed against us, in February 2006, we agreed to settle this dispute for approximately $1.0 million. As a result, we recorded a $0.3 million lease expiration expense charge during the three-month period ended December 31, 2005.
No matters were submitted to stockholders during the fourth quarter of the year covered by this report.
Item 5 - Market for Registrants Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Our shares of common stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OHI. The following table sets forth, for the periods shown, the high and low prices as reported on the New York Stock Exchange Composite for the periods indicated and cash dividends per share:
The closing price on February 10, 2006 was $12.95 per share. As of February 10, 2006, there were 57,302,212 shares of common stock outstanding with 2,217 registered holders.
The following table provides information about all equity awards under our companys 2004 Stock Incentive Plan, 2000 Stock Incentive Plan and 1993 Amended and Restated Stock Option and Restricted Stock Plan as of December 31, 2005.
(1) Reflects 211,667 shares of restricted common stock and 317,000 shares of common stock issuable upon vesting of performance restricted stock units.
During the fourth quarter of 2005, we purchased 6,158 shares of our common stock from employees to pay the withholding taxes associated with employee exercising of stock options.
(1) Represents shares purchased from employees to pay the withholding taxes related to the exercise of employee stock options. The shares were not part of a publicly announced repurchase plan or program.
We expect to continue our policy of paying regular cash dividends, although there is no assurance as to future dividends because they depend on future earnings, capital requirements and our financial condition. In addition, the payment of dividends is subject to the restrictions described in Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements.
The following table sets forth our selected financial data and operating data for our company on a historical basis. We have restated certain historical results in the accompanying consolidated financial statements to correct errors in previously reported amounts related to income tax matters and certain debt and equity investments in Advocat, as well as to record certain straight-line rental income. See Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements and Note 16 Summary of Quarterly Results.
The following data should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and notes thereto and Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations included elsewhere herein. Our historical operating results may not be comparable to our future operating results.
(1) Dividends per share are those declared and paid during such period.
(2) Dividends per share are those declared during such period, based on the number of shares of common stock issuable upon conversion of the outstanding Series C preferred stock.
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and notes thereto appearing elsewhere in this document. This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding potential financings and potential future changes in reimbursement. These statements relate to our expectations, beliefs, intentions, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events, performance and underlying assumptions and other statements other than statements of historical facts. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology including, but not limited to, terms such as may, will, anticipates, expects, believes, intends, should or comparable terms or the negative thereof. These statements are based on information available on the date of this filing and only speak as to the date hereof and no obligation to update such forward-looking statements should be assumed. Our actual results may differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements contained herein as a result of a variety of factors, including, among other things:
Our portfolio of investments at December 31, 2005, consisted of 227 healthcare facilities, located in 27 states and operated by 35 third-party operators. Our gross investment in these facilities totaled approximately $1.1 billion at December 31, 2005, with 98% of our real estate investments related to long-term healthcare facilities. This portfolio is made up of 193 long-term healthcare facilities and two rehabilitation hospitals owned and leased to third parties and fixed rate mortgages on 32 long-term healthcare facilities. At December 31, 2005, we also held other investments of approximately $29 million, consisting primarily of secured loans to third-party operators of our facilities.
All of our properties are used as healthcare facilities; therefore, we are directly affected by the risk associated with the healthcare industry. Our lessees and mortgagors, as well as any facilities that may be owned and operated for our own account from time to time, derive a substantial portion of their net operating revenues from third-party payors, including the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These programs are highly regulated by federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, and subject to frequent and substantial change.
In 1997, the Balanced Budget Act significantly reduced spending levels for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, in part because the legislation modified the payment methodology for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) by shifting payments for services provided to Medicare beneficiaries from a reasonable cost basis to a prospective payment system. Under the prospective payment system, SNFs are paid on a per diem prospective case-mix adjusted basis for all covered services. Implementation of the prospective payment system has affected each long-term care facility to a different degree, depending upon the amount of revenue such facility derives from Medicare patients.
Legislation adopted in 1999 and 2000 provided for a few temporary increases to Medicare payment rates, but these temporary increases have since expired. Specifically, in 1999 the Balanced Budget Refinement Act included a 4% across-the-board increase of the adjusted federal per diem payment rates for all patient acuity categories (known as Resource Utilization Groups or RUGs) that were in effect from April 2000 through September 30, 2002. In 2000, the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act included a 16.7% increase in the nursing component of the case-mix adjusted federal periodic payment rate, which was implemented in April 2000 and also expired October 1, 2002. The October 1, 2002 expiration of these temporary increases has had an adverse impact on the revenues of the operators of SNFs and has negatively impacted some operators ability to satisfy their monthly lease or debt payments to us.
The Balanced Budget Refinement Act and the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act also established temporary increases, beginning in April 2001, to Medicare payment rates to SNFs that were designated to remain in place until the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented refinements to the existing RUG case-mix classification system to more accurately estimate the cost of non-therapy ancillary services. The Balanced Budget Refinement Act provided for a 20% increase for 15 RUG categories until CMS modified the RUG case-mix classification system. The Benefits Improvement and Protection Act modified this payment increase by reducing the 20% increase for three of the 15 RUGs to a 6.7% increase and instituting an additional 6.7% increase for eleven other RUGs.
On August 4, 2005, CMS published a final rule, effective October 1, 2005, establishing Medicare payments for SNFs under the prospective payment system for federal fiscal year 2006 (October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006). The final rule modified the RUG case-mix classification system and added nine new categories to the system, expanding the number of RUGs from 44 to 53. The implementation of the RUG refinements triggered the expiration of the temporary payment increases of 20% and 6.7% established by the Balanced Budget Refinement Act and the Benefits Improvement and Protection Act, respectively. Additionally, CMS announced updates in the final rule to reimbursement rates for SNFs in federal fiscal year 2006 based on an increase in the full market-basket of 3.1%.
In the August 4, 2005 notice, CMS estimated that the increases in Medicare reimbursements to SNFs arising from the refinements to the prospective payment system and the market basket update under the final rule will offset the reductions stemming from the elimination of the temporary increases during federal fiscal year 2006. CMS estimated that there will be an overall increase in Medicare payments to SNFs totaling $20 million in fiscal year 2006 compared to 2005.
Nonetheless, we cannot accurately predict what effect, if any, these changes will have on our lessees and mortgagors in 2006 and beyond. These changes to the Medicare prospective payment system for SNFs, including the elimination of temporary increases, could adversely impact the revenues of the operators of nursing facilities and could negatively impact the ability of some of our lessees and mortgagors to satisfy their monthly lease or debt payments to us.
A 128% temporary increase in the per diem amount paid to SNFs for residents who have AIDS took effect on October 1, 2004. This temporary payment increase arises from the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (Medicare Modernization Act). The August 2005 notice announcing the final rule for the SNF prospective payment system for fiscal year 2006 clarified that the increase will remain in effect for fiscal year 2006, although CMS also noted that the AIDS add-on was not intended to be permanent.
A significant change enacted under the Medicare Modernization Act is the creation of a new prescription drug benefit, Medicare Part D, which went into effect January 1, 2006. The significant expansion of benefits for Medicare beneficiaries arising under the expanded prescription drug benefit could result in financial pressures on the Medicare program that might result in future legislative and regulatory changes with impacts for our operators. As part of this new program, the prescription drug benefits for patients who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are being transitioned from Medicaid to Medicare, and many of these patients reside in long-term care facilities. The Medicare program has experienced significant operational difficulties in transitioning prescription drug coverage for this population since the benefit went into effect on January 1, 2006, although it is unclear whether or how issues involving Medicare Part D might have any direct financial impacts on our operators.
On February 8, 2006, the President signed into law a $39.7 billion budget reconciliation package called the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Deficit Reduction Act) to lower the federal budget deficit. The Deficit Reduction Act includes net savings of $8.3 billion from the Medicare program over 5 years.
The Deficit Reduction Act contains a provision reducing payments to SNFs for allowable bad debts. Currently, Medicare reimburses SNFs for 100% of beneficiary bad debt arising from unpaid deductibles and coinsurance amounts. In 2003, CMS released a proposed rule seeking to reduce bad debt reimbursement rates for certain providers, including SNFs, by 30% over a three-year period. CMS never finalized its 2003 proposal. The Deficit Reduction Act reduces payments to SNFs for allowable bad debts by 30% effective October 1, 2005 for those individuals not dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Bad debt payments for the dually eligible population will remain at 100%. These reductions in Medicare payments for bad debt could have a material adverse effect on our operators financial condition and operations, which could adversely affect their ability to meet their payment obligations to us.
The Deficit Reduction Act also contains a provision governing the therapy caps that went into place under Medicare on January 1, 2006. The therapy caps limit the physical therapy, speech-language therapy and occupation therapy services that a Medicare beneficiary can receive during a calendar year. The therapy caps were in effect for calendar year 1999 and then suspended by Congress for three years. An inflation-adjusted therapy limit ($1,590 per year) was implemented in September of 2002, but then once again suspended in December of 2003 by the Medicare Modernization Act. Under the Medicare Modernization Act, Congress placed a two-year moratorium on implementation of the caps, which expired at the end of 2005.
The inflation-adjusted therapy caps are set at $1,740 for 2006. These caps do not apply to therapy services covered under Medicare Part A in a SNF, although the caps apply in most other instances involving patients in SNFs or long-term care facilities who receive therapy services covered under Medicare Part B. The Deficit Reduction Act permits exceptions in 2006 for therapy services to exceed the caps when the therapy services are deemed medically necessary by the Medicare program. The therapy caps could have a material adverse effect on our operators financial condition and operations, which could adversely affect their ability to meet their payment obligations to us.
In general, we cannot be assured that federal reimbursement will remain at levels comparable to present levels or that such reimbursement will be sufficient for our lessees or mortgagors to cover all operating and fixed costs necessary to care for Medicare and Medicaid patients. We also cannot be assured that there will be any future legislation to increase Medicare payment rates for SNFs, and if such payment rates for SNFs are not increased in the future, some of our lessees and mortgagors may have difficulty meeting their payment obligations to us.
Medicaid and Other Third-Party Reimbursement
Each state has its own Medicaid program that is funded jointly by the state and federal government. Federal law governs how each state manages its Medicaid program, but there is wide latitude for states to customize Medicaid programs to fit the needs and resources of their citizens. Currently, Medicaid is the single largest source of financing for long-term care in the United States. Rising Medicaid costs and decreasing state revenues caused by recent economic conditions have prompted an increasing number of states to cut or consider reductions in Medicaid funding as a means of balancing their respective state budgets. Existing and future initiatives affecting Medicaid reimbursement may reduce utilization of (and reimbursement for) services offered by the operators of our properties.
In recent years, many states have announced actual or potential budget shortfalls, and many budget forecasts in 2006 could be similar. As a result of these budget shortfalls, many states have announced that they are implementing or considering implementing freezes or cuts in Medicaid reimbursement rates, including rates paid to SNF and long-term care providers, or reductions in Medicaid enrollee benefits, including long-term care benefits. We cannot predict the extent to which Medicaid rate freezes, cuts or benefit reductions ultimately will be adopted, the number of states that will adopt them or the impact of such adoption on our operators. However, extensive Medicaid rate cuts, freezes or benefit reductions could have a material adverse effect on our operators liquidity, financial condition and results of operations, which could adversely affect their ability to make lease or mortgage payments to us.
The Deficit Reduction Act includes $4.7 billion in savings from Medicaid and the State Childrens Health Insurance Program over 5 years. The Deficit Reduction Act gives states the option to increase Medicaid cost-sharing and reduce Medicaid benefits, accounting for an estimated $3.2 billion in federal savings over five years. The remainder of the Medicaid savings under the Deficit
Reduction Act comes primarily from changes to prescription drug reimbursement ($3.9 billion in savings over five years) and tightened policies governing asset transfers ($2.4 billion in savings over five years).
Asset transfer policies, which determine Medicaid eligibility based on whether a Medicaid applicant has transferred assets for less than fair value, are more restrictive under the Deficit Reduction Act, which extends the look-back period to 5 years, moves the start of the penalty period and makes individuals with more than $500,000 in home equity ineligible for nursing home benefits (previously, the home was excluded as a countable asset for purposes of Medicaid eligibility). These changes could have a material adverse effect on our operators financial condition and operations, which could adversely affect their ability to meet their payment obligations to us.
Additional reductions in federal funding are expected for some state Medicaid programs as a result of changes in the percentage rates used for determining federal assistance on a state-by-state basis. Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would partially mitigate the reductions for some states that would experience significant reductions in federal funding, although whether Congress will enact this or other legislation remains uncertain.
Finally, private payors, including managed care payors, increasingly are demanding discounted fee structures and the assumption by healthcare providers of all or a portion of the financial risk of operating a healthcare facility. Efforts to impose greater discounts and more stringent cost controls are expected to continue. Any changes in reimbursement policies that reduce reimbursement levels could adversely affect the revenues of our lessees and mortgagors, thereby adversely affecting those lessees and mortgagors abilities to make their monthly lease or debt payments to us.
Fraud and Abuse Laws and Regulations
There are various extremely complex and largely uninterpreted federal and state laws governing a wide array of referrals, relationships and arrangements and prohibiting fraud by healthcare providers, including criminal provisions that prohibit filing false claims or making false statements to receive payment or certification under Medicare and Medicaid, or failing to refund overpayments or improper payments. The federal and state governments are devoting increasing attention and resources to anti-fraud initiatives against healthcare providers. Penalties for healthcare fraud have been increased and expanded over recent years, including broader provisions for the exclusion of providers from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in cooperation with other federal and state agencies, continues to focus on the activities of SNFs in certain states in which we have properties.
In addition, the federal False Claims Act allows a private individual with knowledge of fraud to bring a claim on behalf of the federal government and earn a percentage of the federal governments recovery. Because of these incentives, these so-called whistleblower suits have become more frequent. Some states currently have statutes that are analogous to the federal False Claims Act. The Deficit Reduction Act encourages additional states to enact such legislation and encourages increased enforcement activity by permitting states to retain 10% of any recovery for that states Medicaid program. The violation of any of these laws or regulations by an operator may result in the imposition of fines or other penalties that could jeopardize that operators ability to make lease or mortgage payments to us or to continue operating its facility.
Legislative and Regulatory Developments
Each year, legislative and regulatory proposals are introduced or proposed in Congress, state legislatures as well as by federal and state agencies that, if implemented, could result in major changes in the healthcare system, either nationally or at the state level. In addition, regulatory proposals and rules are released on an ongoing basis that may have major impacts on the healthcare system generally and the industries in which our operators do business. Legislative and regulatory developments can be expected to occur on an ongoing basis at the local, state and federal levels that have direct or indirect impacts on the policies governing the reimbursement levels paid to our facilities by public and private third-party payors, the costs of doing business and the threshold requirements that must be met for facilities to continue operation or to expand.
The Medicare Modernization Act, which is one example of such legislation, was enacted in December 2003. The significant expansion of other benefits for Medicare beneficiaries under this Act, such as the prescription drug benefit, could result in financial pressures on the Medicare program that might result in future legislative and regulatory changes with impacts on our operators.
Although the creation of a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries was expected to generate fiscal relief for state Medicaid programs, the structure of the benefit and costs associated with its implementation may mitigate the relief for states that was anticipated.
The Deficit Reduction Act is another example of such legislation. The provisions in the legislation designed to create cost savings from both Medicare and Medicaid could diminish reimbursement for our operators under both Medicare and Medicaid.
CMS also launched the Nursing Home Quality Initiative program in 2002, which requires nursing homes participating in Medicare to provide consumers with comparative information about the quality of care at the facility. In the event any of our operators do not maintain the same or superior levels of quality care as their competitors, patients could choose alternate facilities, which could adversely impact our operators revenues. In addition, the reporting of such information could lead in the future to reimbursement policies that reward or penalize facilities on the basis of the reported quality of care parameters. In late 2005, CMS began soliciting public comments regarding a demonstration to examine pay-for-performance approaches in the nursing home setting that would offer financial incentives for facilities to deliver high quality care. The proposed three-year demonstration could begin as early as late 2006. Other proposals under consideration include efforts by individual states to control costs by decreasing state Medicaid reimbursements in the current or future fiscal years and federal legislation addressing various issues, such as improving quality of care and reducing medical errors throughout the health care industry. We cannot accurately predict whether specific proposals will be adopted or, if adopted, what effect, if any, these proposals would have on operators and, thus, our business.
The following is a general summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations applicable to us and to the holders of our securities and our election to be taxed as a real estate investment trust (REIT). It is not tax advice. The summary is not intended to represent a detailed description of the U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to a particular stockholder in view of any persons particular circumstances, nor is it intended to represent a detailed description of the U.S. federal income tax consequences applicable to stockholders subject to special treatment under the federal income tax laws such as insurance companies, tax-exempt organizations, financial institutions, securities broker-dealers, investors in pass-through entities, expatriates and taxpayers subject to alternative minimum taxation.
The following discussion, to the extent it constitutes matters of law or legal conclusions (assuming the facts, representations, and assumptions upon which the discussion is based are accurate), accurately represents some of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations relevant to our securities. The sections of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) relating to the qualification and operation as a REIT are highly technical and complex. The following discussion sets forth the material aspects of the Code sections that govern the federal income tax treatment of a REIT and its stockholders. The information in this section is based on the Code; current, temporary, and proposed Treasury regulations promulgated under the Code; the legislative history of the Code; current administrative interpretations and practices of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); and court decisions, in each case, as of the date of this report. In addition, the administrative interpretations and practices of the IRS include its practices and policies as expressed in private letter rulings, which are not binding on the IRS, except with respect to the particular taxpayers who requested and received those rulings.
Taxation of Omega
General. We have elected to be taxed as a REIT, under Sections 856 through 860 of the Code, beginning with our taxable year ended December 31, 1992. Except with respect to the Advocat related party tenant issue described elsewhere in this report, we believe that we have been organized and operated in such a manner as to qualify for taxation as a REIT under the Code and we intend to continue to operate in such a manner, but no assurance can be given that we have operated or will be able to continue to operate in a manner so as to qualify or remain qualified as a REIT.
The sections of the Code that govern the federal income tax treatment of a REIT are highly technical and complex. The following sets forth the material aspects of those sections. This summary is qualified in its entirety by the applicable Code provisions, rules and regulations promulgated thereunder, and administrative and judicial interpretations thereof.
If we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we generally will not be subject to federal corporate income taxes on our net income that is currently distributed to stockholders. However, we will be subject to federal income tax as follows: First, we will be taxed at
regular corporate rates on any undistributed REIT taxable income, including undistributed net capital gains; provided, however, that if we have a net capital gain, we will be taxed at regular corporate rates on our undistributed REIT taxable income, computed without regard to net capital gain and the deduction for capital gains dividends, plus a 35% tax on undistributed net capital gain, if our tax as thus computed is less than the tax computed in the regular manner. Second, under certain circumstances, we may be subject to the alternative minimum tax on our items of tax preference that we do not distribute or allocate to our stockholders. Third, if we have (i) net income from the sale or other disposition of foreclosure property, which is held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business, or (ii) other nonqualifying income from foreclosure property, we will be subject to tax at the highest regular corporate rate on such income. Fourth, if we have net income from prohibited transactions (which are, in general, certain sales or other dispositions of property (other than foreclosure property) held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business by us, (i.e., when we are acting as a dealer)), such income will be subject to a 100% tax. Fifth, if we should fail to satisfy the 75% gross income test or the 95% gross income test (as discussed below), but have nonetheless maintained our qualification as a REIT because certain other requirements have been met, we will be subject to a 100% tax on an amount equal to (a) the gross income attributable to the greater of the amount by which we fail the 75% or 95% test, multiplied by (b) a fraction intended to reflect our profitability. Sixth, if we should fail to distribute by the end of each year at least the sum of (i) 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year, (ii) 95% of our REIT capital gain net income for such year, and (iii) any undistributed taxable income from prior periods, we will be subject to a 4% excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the amounts actually distributed. Seventh, we will be subject to a 100% excise tax on transactions with a taxable REIT subsidiary, or TRS, that are not conducted on an arms-length basis. Eighth, if we acquire any asset, which is defined as a built-in gain asset from a C corporation that is not a REIT (i.e., generally a corporation subject to full corporate-level tax) in a transaction in which the basis of the built-in gain asset in our hands is determined by reference to the basis of the asset (or any other property) in the hands of the C corporation, and we recognize gain on the disposition of such asset during the 10-year period, which is defined as the recognition period, beginning on the date on which such asset was acquired by us, then, to the extent of the built-in gain (i.e., the excess of (a) the fair market value of such asset on the date such asset was acquired by us over (b) our adjusted basis in such asset on such date), our recognized gain will be subject to tax at the highest regular corporate rate. The results described above with respect to the recognition of built-in gain assume that we will not make an election pursuant to Treasury Regulations Section 1.337(d)-7(c)(5).
Requirements for qualification. The Code defines a REIT as a corporation, trust or association: (1) which is managed by one or more trustees or directors; (2) the beneficial ownership of which is evidenced by transferable shares, or by transferable certificates of beneficial interest; (3) which would be taxable as a domestic corporation, but for Sections 856 through 859 of the Code; (4) which is neither a financial institution nor an insurance company subject to the provisions of the Code; (5) the beneficial ownership of which is held by 100 or more persons; (6) during the last half year of each taxable year not more than 50% in value of the outstanding stock of which is owned, actually or constructively, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Code to include certain entities); and (7) which meets certain other tests, described below, regarding the nature of its income and assets and the amount of its annual distributions to stockholders. The Code provides that conditions (1) to (4), inclusive, must be met during the entire taxable year and that condition (5) must be met during at least 335 days of a taxable year of twelve months, or during a proportionate part of a taxable year of less than twelve months. For purposes of conditions (5) and (6), pension funds and certain other tax-exempt entities are treated as individuals, subject to a look-through exception in the case of condition (6).
Income tests. In order to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we annually must satisfy two gross income requirements. First, at least 75% of our gross income (excluding gross income from prohibited transactions) for each taxable year must be derived directly or indirectly from investments relating to real property or mortgages on real property (including generally rents from real property, interest on mortgages on real property and gains on sale of real property and real property mortgages, other than property described in Section 1221 of the Code) and income derived from certain types of temporary investments. Second, at least 95% of our gross income (excluding gross income from prohibited transactions) for each taxable year must be derived from such real property investments, dividends, interest and gain from the sale or disposition of stock or securities other than property held for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business.
Rents received by us will qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income requirements for a REIT described above only if several conditions are met. First, the amount of the rent must not be based in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, any amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from the term rents from real property solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of receipts or sales. Second, the Code provides that rents received from a tenant will not qualify as rents from real property in satisfying the gross income tests if we, or an owner (actually or constructively) of 10% or more of the value of our stock, actually or constructively owns 10% or more of such tenant, which is defined as a related party tenant. Third, if rent attributable to personal property, leased in connection with a lease of real property, is greater than 15% of the total rent received under the lease, then the portion of rent attributable to such personal property will not qualify as rents from real property. Finally, for rents received to qualify as rents from real property, we generally must not
operate or manage the property or furnish or render services to the tenants of such property, other than through an independent contractor from which we derive no revenue. We, however, directly perform certain services that are usually or customarily rendered in connection with the rental of space for occupancy only and are not otherwise considered rendered to the occupant of the property. In addition, we may provide a minimal amount of non-customary services to the tenants of a property, other than through an independent contractor, as long as our income from the services does not exceed 1% of our income from the related property. Furthermore, we may own up to 100% of the stock of a taxable REIT subsidiary (TRS), which may provide customary and noncustomary services to our tenants without tainting our rental income from the related properties. For our tax years beginning after 2004, rents for customary services performed by a TRS or that are received from a TRS and are described in Code Section 512(b)(3) no longer meet the 100% excise tax safe harbor. Instead, such payments avoid the excise tax if we pay the TRS at least 150% of its direct cost of furnishing such services.
The term interest generally does not include any amount received or accrued (directly or indirectly) if the determination of such amount depends in whole or in part on the income or profits of any person. However, an amount received or accrued generally will not be excluded from the term interest solely by reason of being based on a fixed percentage or percentages of gross receipts or sales. In addition, an amount that is based on the income or profits of a debtor will be qualifying interest income as long as the debtor derives substantially all of its income from the real property securing the debt from leasing substantially all of its interest in the property, but only to the extent that the amounts received by the debtor would be qualifying rents from real property if received directly by a REIT.
If a loan contains a provision that entitles us to a percentage of the borrowers gain upon the sale of the real property securing the loan or a percentage of the appreciation in the propertys value as of a specific date, income attributable to that loan provision will be treated as gain from the sale of the property securing the loan, which generally is qualifying income for purposes of both gross income tests.
Interest on debt secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test. However, if the highest principal amount of a loan outstanding during a taxable year exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan as of the date we agreed to originate or acquire the loan, a portion of the interest income from such loan will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, but will be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test. The portion of the interest income that will not be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test will be equal to the portion of the principal amount of the loan that is not secured by real property.
Prohibited transactions. We will incur a 100% tax on the net income derived from any sale or other disposition of property, other than foreclosure property, that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business. We believe that none of our assets is primarily held for sale to customers and that a sale of any of our assets would not be in the ordinary course of our business. Whether a REIT holds an asset primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business depends, however, on the facts and circumstances in effect from time to time, including those related to a particular asset. Nevertheless, we will attempt to comply with the terms of safe-harbor provisions in the federal income tax laws prescribing when an asset sale will not be characterized as a prohibited transaction. We cannot assure you, however, that we can comply with the safe-harbor provisions or that we will avoid owning property that may be characterized as property that we hold primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of a trade or business.
Foreclosure property. We will be subject to tax at the maximum corporate rate on any income from foreclosure property, other than income that otherwise would be qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, less expenses directly connected with the production of that income. However, gross income from foreclosure property will qualify for purposes of the 75% and 95% gross income tests. Foreclosure property is any real property, including interests in real property, and any personal property incident to such real property:
· that is acquired by a REIT as the result of the REIT having bid on such property at foreclosure, or having otherwise reduced such property to ownership or possession by agreement or process of law, after there was a default or default was imminent on a lease of such property or on indebtedness that such property secured;
· for which the related loan or lease was acquired by the REIT at a time when the default was not imminent or anticipated; and
· for which the REIT makes a proper election to treat the property as foreclosure property.
Property generally ceases to be foreclosure property at the end of the third taxable year following the taxable year in which the REIT acquired the property, or longer if an extension is granted by the Secretary of the Treasury. This grace period terminates and foreclosure property ceases to be foreclosure property on the first day:
· on which a lease is entered into for the property that, by its terms, will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test, or any amount is received or accrued, directly or indirectly, pursuant to a lease entered into on or after such day that will give rise to income that does not qualify for purposes of the 75% gross income test;
· on which any construction takes place on the property, other than completion of a building or any other improvement, where more than 10% of the construction was completed before default became imminent; or
· which is more than 90 days after the day on which the REIT acquired the property and the property is used in a trade or business which is conducted by the REIT, other than through an independent contractor from whom the REIT itself does not derive or receive any income.
After the year 2000, the definition of foreclosure property was amended to include any qualified health care property, as defined in Code Section 856(e)(6) acquired by us as the result of the termination or expiration of a lease of such property. We have operated qualified healthcare facilities acquired in this manner for up to two years (or longer if an extension was granted). However, we do not currently own any property with respect to which we have made foreclosure property elections. Properties that we had taken back in a foreclosure or bankruptcy and operated for our own account were treated as foreclosure properties for income tax purposes, pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 856(e). Gross income from foreclosure properties was classified as good income for purposes of the annual REIT income tests upon making the election on the tax return. Once made, the income was classified as good for a period of three years, or until the properties were no longer operated for our own account. In all cases of foreclosure property, we utilized an independent contractor to conduct day-to-day operations in order to maintain REIT status. In certain cases we operated these facilities through a taxable REIT subsidiary. For those properties operated through the taxable REIT subsidiary, we utilized an eligible independent contractor to conduct day-to-day operations to maintain REIT status. As a result of the foregoing, we do not believe that our participation in the operation of nursing homes increased the risk that we will fail to qualify as a REIT. Through our 2005 taxable year, we had not paid any tax on our foreclosure property because those properties had been producing losses. We cannot predict whether, in the future, our income from foreclosure property will be significant and/or whether we could be required to pay a significant amount of tax on that income.
Hedging transactions. From time to time, we enter into hedging transactions with respect to one or more of our assets or liabilities. Our hedging activities may include entering into interest rate swaps, caps, and floors, options to purchase these items, and futures and forward contracts. To the extent that we enter into an interest rate swap or cap contract, option, futures contract, forward rate agreement, or any similar financial instrument to hedge our indebtedness incurred to acquire or carry real estate assets, any periodic income or gain from the disposition of that contract should be qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. Accordingly, our income and gain from our interest rate swap agreements generally is qualifying income for purposes of the 95% gross income test, but not the 75% gross income test. To the extent that we hedge with other types of financial instruments, or in other situations, it is not entirely clear how the income from those transactions will be treated for purposes of the gross income tests. We have structured and intend to continue to structure any hedging transactions in a manner that does not jeopardize our status as a REIT. For tax years beginning after 2004, we will no longer include income from hedging transactions in gross income (i.e., not included in either the numerator or the denominator) for purposes of the 95% gross income test.
TRS income. A TRS may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by the parent REIT. Both the subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 20% of the value of a REITs assets may consist of securities of one or more TRSs. However, a TRS does not include a corporation which directly or indirectly (i) operates or manages a health care (or lodging) facility, or (ii) provides to any other person (under a franchise, license, or otherwise) rights to any brand name under which a health care (or lodging) facility is operated. A TRS will pay income tax at regular corporate rates on any income that it earns. In addition, the new rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. The rules also impose a 100% excise tax on transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT or the REITs tenants that are not conducted on an arms-length basis. We have made a TRS election with respect to Bayside Street II, Inc. That entity will pay corporate income tax on its taxable income and its after-tax net income will be available for distribution to us.
Failure to satisfy income tests. If we fail to satisfy one or both of the 75% or 95% gross income tests for any taxable year, we may nevertheless qualify as a REIT for such year if we are entitled to relief under certain provisions of the Code. These relief provisions will be generally available if our failure to meet such tests was due to reasonable cause and not due to willful neglect, we attach a schedule of the sources of our income to our tax return, and any incorrect information on the schedule was not due to fraud with intent to evade tax. It is not possible, however, to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to the benefit of these relief provisions. Even if these relief provisions apply, we would incur a 100% tax on the gross income attributable to the greater of the amounts by which we fail the 75% and 95% gross income tests, multiplied by a fraction intended to reflect our profitability and we would file a schedule with descriptions of each item of gross income that caused the failure.
Asset tests. At the close of each quarter of our taxable year, we must also satisfy the following tests relating to the nature of our assets. First, at least 75% of the value of our total assets must be represented by real estate assets (including (i) our allocable share of real estate assets held by partnerships in which we own an interest and (ii) stock or debt instruments held for not more than one year purchased with the proceeds of a stock offering or long-term (at least five years) debt offering of our company), cash, cash items and government securities. Second, of our investments not included in the 75% asset class, the value of our interest in any one issuers securities may not exceed 5% of the value of our total assets. Third, we may not own more than 10% of the voting power or value of any one issuers outstanding securities. Fourth, no more than 20% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of one or more TRSs. Fifth, no more than 25% of the value of our total assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other non-TRS taxable subsidiaries and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test.
For purposes of the second and third asset tests the term securities does not include our equity or debt securities of a qualified REIT subsidiary or TRS or our equity interest in any partnership, since we are deemed to own our proportionate share of each asset of any partnership of which we are a partner. Furthermore, for purposes of determining whether we own more than 10% of the value of only one issuers outstanding securities, the term securities does not include: (i) any loan to an individual or an estate; (ii) any Code Section 467 rental agreement; (iii) any obligation to pay rents from real property; (iv) certain government issued securities; (v) any security issued by another REIT; and (vi) our debt securities in any partnership, not otherwise excepted under (i) through (v) above, (A) to the extent of our interest as a partner in the partnership or (B) if 75% of the partnerships gross income is derived from sources described in the 75% income test set forth above.
We may own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. However, overall, no more than 20% of the value of our assets may consist of securities of one or more TRSs, and no more than 25% of the value of our assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other non-TRS taxable subsidiaries (including stock in non-REIT C corporations) and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test. If the outstanding principal balance of a mortgage loan exceeds the fair market value of the real property securing the loan, a portion of such loan likely will not be a qualifying real estate asset under the federal income tax laws. The nonqualifying portion of that mortgage loan will be equal to the portion of the loan amount that exceeds the value of the associated real property.
After initially meeting the asset tests at the close of any quarter, we will not lose our status as a REIT for failure to satisfy any of the asset tests at the end of a later quarter solely by reason of changes in asset values. If the failure to satisfy the asset tests results from an acquisition of securities or other property during a quarter, the failure can be cured by disposition of sufficient nonqualifying assets within 30 days after the close of that quarter.
For our tax years beginning after 2004, subject to certain de minimis exceptions, we may avoid REIT disqualification in the event of certain failures under the asset tests, provided that (i) we file a schedule with a description of each asset that caused the failure, (ii) the failure was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, (iii) we dispose of the assets within 6 months after the last day of the quarter in which the identification of the failure occurred (or the requirements of the rules are otherwise met within such period), and (iv) we pay a tax on the failure equal to the greater of (A) $50,000 per failure, and (B) the product of the net income generated by the assets that caused the failure for the period beginning on the date of the failure and ending on the date we dispose of the asset (or otherwise satisfy the requirements) multiplied by the highest applicable corporate tax rate.
Annual distribution requirements. In order to qualify as a REIT, we are required to distribute dividends (other than capital gain dividends) to our stockholders in an amount at least equal to (A) the sum of (i) 90% of our REIT taxable income (computed without regard to the dividends paid deduction and our net capital gain) and (ii) 90% of the net income (after tax), if any, from foreclosure property, minus (B) the sum of certain items of noncash income. Such distributions must be paid in the taxable year to which they relate, or in the following taxable year if declared before we timely file our tax return for such year and paid on or before the first regular dividend payment after such declaration. In addition, such distributions are required to be made pro rata, with no preference to any share of stock as compared with other shares of the same class, and with no preference to one class of stock as
compared with another class except to the extent that such class is entitled to such a preference. To the extent that we do not distribute all of our net capital gain or do distribute at least 90%, but less than 100% of our REIT taxable income, as adjusted, we will be subject to tax thereon at regular ordinary and capital gain corporate tax rates.
Furthermore, if we fail to distribute during a calendar year, or by the end of January following the calendar year in the case of distributions with declaration and record dates falling in the last three months of the calendar year, at least the sum of:
· 85% of our REIT ordinary income for such year;
· 95% of our REIT capital gain income for such year; and
· any undistributed taxable income from prior periods,
we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the excess of such required distribution over the amounts we actually distribute. We may elect to retain and pay income tax on the net long-term capital gain we receive in a taxable year. If we so elect, we will be treated as having distributed any such retained amount for purposes of the 4% excise tax described above. We have made, and we intend to continue to make, timely distributions sufficient to satisfy the annual distribution requirements. We may also be entitled to pay and deduct deficiency dividends in later years as a relief measure to correct errors in determining our taxable income. Although we may be able to avoid income tax on amounts distributed as deficiency dividends, we will be required to pay interest to the IRS based upon the amount of any deduction we take for deficiency dividends.
The availability to us of, among other things, depreciation deductions with respect to our owned facilities depends upon the treatment by us as the owner of such facilities for federal income tax purposes, and the classification of the leases with respect to such facilities as true leases rather than financing arrangements for federal income tax purposes. The questions of whether we are the owner of such facilities and whether the leases are true leases for federal tax purposes are essentially factual matters. We believe that we will be treated as the owner of each of the facilities that we lease, and such leases will be treated as true leases for federal income tax purposes. However, no assurances can be given that the IRS will not successfully challenge our status as the owner of our facilities subject to leases, and the status of such leases as true leases, asserting that the purchase of the facilities by us and the leasing of such facilities merely constitute steps in secured financing transactions in which the lessees are owners of the facilities and we are merely a secured creditor. In such event, we would not be entitled to claim depreciation deductions with respect to any of the affected facilities. As a result, we might fail to meet the 90% distribution requirement or, if such requirement is met, we might be subject to corporate income tax or the 4% excise tax.
Other Failures. We may avoid disqualification in the event of a failure to meet certain requirements for REIT qualification, other than the 95% and 75% gross income tests, the rules with respect to ownership of securities of more than 10% of a single issuer, and the new rules provided for failures of the asset tests, if the failures are due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect, and if the REIT pays a penalty of $50,000 for each such failure.
Failure to Qualify
If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any taxable year, and the relief provisions do not apply, we will be subject to tax (including any applicable alternative minimum tax) on our taxable income at regular corporate rates. Distributions to stockholders in any year in which we fail to qualify will not be deductible and our failure to qualify as a REIT would reduce the cash available for distribution by us to our stockholders. In addition, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, all distributions to stockholders will be taxable as ordinary income, to the extent of current and accumulated earnings and profits, and, subject to certain limitations of the Code, corporate distributees may be eligible for the dividends received deduction. Unless entitled to relief under specific statutory provisions, we would also be disqualified from taxation as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which qualification was lost. It is not possible to state whether in all circumstances we would be entitled to such statutory relief. Failure to qualify could result in our incurring indebtedness or liquidating investments in order to pay the resulting taxes. See Item 7 Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Results of Operation.
Other Tax Matters
We own and operate a number of properties through qualified REIT subsidiaries, (QRSs). The QRSs are treated as qualified REIT subsidiaries under the Code. Code Section 856(i) provides that a corporation which is a qualified REIT subsidiary shall not be treated as a separate corporation, and all assets, liabilities, and items of income, deduction, and credit of a qualified REIT subsidiary shall be treated as assets, liabilities and such items (as the case may be) of the REIT. Thus, in applying the tests for REIT qualification described in this prospectus under the heading Taxation of Omega, the QRSs will be ignored, and all assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction, and credit of such QRSs will be treated as our assets, liabilities and items of income, deduction, and credit.
In the case of a REIT that is a partner in a partnership, the REIT is treated as owning its proportionate share of the assets of the partnership and as earning its allocable share of the gross income of the partnership for purposes of the applicable REIT qualification tests. Thus, our proportionate share of the assets, liabilities, and items of income of any partnership, joint venture, or limited liability company that is treated as a partnership for federal income tax purposes in which we own an interest, directly or indirectly, will be treated as our assets and gross income for purposes of applying the various REIT qualification requirements.
The following significant highlights occurred during the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2005.
· In May 2005, we fully redeemed our 8.625% Series B cumulative preferred stock.
· In November 2005, we issued 5.175 million shares of our common stock.
· In December 2005, we completed a primary offering of $50 million, 7% unsecured notes due 2014.
· In December 2005, we completed a primary offering of $175 million, 7% unsecured notes due 2016.
· In December 2005, we tendered for and purchased 79.3% of our $100 million aggregate principal amount of 6.95% notes due 2007.
· In December 2005, we authorized the redemption of 20.7% of all outstanding $100 million aggregate principal amount of 6.95% notes due 2007 that were not otherwise tendered.
· In 2005, we paid common stock dividends of $0.20, $0.21, $0.22 and $0.22 per share, for stockholders of record on January 31, 2005, May 2, 2005, July 29, 2005 and October 31, 2005, respectively.
· In January 2005, we acquired approximately $58 million of net new investments and leased to an existing third-party operator.
· In June 2005, we purchased two SNFs for approximately $10 million and leased them to an existing third-party operator.
· In June 2005, we purchased five SNFs for approximately $50 million and leased them to an existing third-party operator.
· In November 2005, we purchased three SNFs for approximately $13 million and leased them to an existing third-party operator.
· In December 2005, we closed on a first mortgage loan to an existing operator for approximately $62 million associated with six SNFs and one ALF.
· In December 2005, we purchased ten SNFs and one ALF for approximately $115 million and leased them to an existing third-party operator.
Re-leasing, Asset Sales and Other
· In January 2005, we re-leased one SNF to an affiliate of an existing operator.
· In February 2005, Mariner prepaid in full its approximately $60 million mortgage.
· In December 2005, AHC Properties, Inc. exercised its purchase option and purchased six ALFs from us for approximately $20 million.
· Throughout 2005, in various transactions, we sold eight SNFs and 50.4 acres of undeveloped land for cash proceeds of approximately $33 million.
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Our significant accounting policies are described in Note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements. These policies were followed in preparing the consolidated financial statements for all periods presented. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
We have identified four significant accounting policies that we believe are critical accounting policies. These critical accounting policies are those that have the most impact on the reporting of our financial condition and those requiring significant assumptions, judgments and estimates. With respect to these critical accounting policies, we believe the application of judgments and assessments is consistently applied and produces financial information that fairly presents the results of operations for all periods presented. The four critical accounting policies are:
With the exception of certain master leases, rental income and mortgage interest income are recognized as earned over the terms of the related master leases and mortgage notes, respectively. Substantially all of our leases contain provisions for specified annual increases over the rents of the prior year and are generally computed in one of three methods depending on specific provisions of each lease as follows: (i) a specific annual increase over the prior years rent, generally 2.5%; (ii) an increase based on the change in pre-determined formulas from year to year (i.e., such as increases in the CPI); or (iii) specific dollar increases over prior years. Revenue under lease arrangements with specific determinable increases is recognized over the term of the lease on a straight-line basis. SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101 Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements (SAB 101) does not provide for the recognition of contingent revenue until all possible contingencies have been eliminated. We consider the operating history of the lessee, the general condition of the industry and various other factors when evaluating whether all possible contingencies have been eliminated. We have historically not included, and generally expect in the future not to include, contingent rents as income until received. We follow a policy related to rental income whereby we typically consider a lease to be non-performing after 90 days of non-payment of past due amounts and do not recognize unpaid rental income from that lease until the amounts have been received.
In the case of rental revenue recognized on a straight-line basis, we will generally discontinue recording rent on a straight-line basis if the lessee becomes delinquent in rent owed under the terms of the lease. Reserves are taken against earned revenues from leases when collection becomes questionable or when negotiations for restructurings of troubled operators result in significant uncertainty regarding ultimate collection. The amount of the reserve is estimated based on what management believes will likely be collected. Once the recording of straight-line rent is suspended, we will evaluate the collectibility of the related straight-line rent asset. If it is determined that the delinquency is temporary, we will resume booking rent on a straight-line basis once payment is received for past due rents, after taking into account application of security deposits. If it appears that we will not collect future rent due under our leases, we will record a provision for loss related to the straight-line rent asset.
Recognizing rental income on a straight-line basis results in recognized revenue exceeding contractual amounts due from our tenants. Such cumulative excess amounts are included in accounts receivable and were $13.8 million and $8.6 million, net of allowances, at December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. See Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements.
Gains on sales of real estate assets are recognized pursuant to the provisions of SFAS No. 66, Accounting for Sales of Real Estate. The specific timing of the recognition of the sale and the related gain is measured against the various criteria in SFAS No. 66 related to the terms of the transactions and any continuing involvement associated with the assets sold. To the extent the sales criteria are not met, we defer gain recognition until the sales criteria are met.
Depreciation and Asset Impairment
Under GAAP, real estate assets are stated at the lower of depreciated cost or fair value, if deemed impaired. Depreciation is computed on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of 25 to 40 years for buildings and improvements and 3 to 10 years for furniture, fixtures and equipment. Management periodically, but not less than annually, evaluates our real estate investments for impairment indicators, including the evaluation of our assets useful lives. The judgment regarding the existence of impairment indicators is based on factors such as, but not limited to, market conditions, operator performance and legal structure. If indicators of impairment are present, management evaluates the carrying value of the related real estate investments in relation to the future undiscounted cash flows of the underlying facilities. Provisions for impairment losses related to long-lived assets are recognized when expected future undiscounted cash flows are determined to be permanently less than the carrying values of the assets. An adjustment is made to the net carrying value of the leased properties and other long-lived assets for the excess of historical cost over fair value. The fair value of the real estate investment is determined by market research, which includes valuing the property as a nursing home as well as other alternative uses. All impairments are taken as a period cost at that time, and depreciation is adjusted going forward to reflect the new value assigned to the asset.
If we decide to sell rental properties or land holdings, we evaluate the recoverability of the carrying amounts of the assets. If the evaluation indicates that the carrying value is not recoverable from estimated net sales proceeds, the property is written down to estimated fair value less costs to sell. Our estimates of cash flows and fair values of the properties are based on current market conditions and consider matters such as rental rates and occupancies for comparable properties, recent sales data for comparable properties, and, where applicable, contracts or the results of negotiations with purchasers or prospective purchasers.
For the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004, and 2003, we recognized impairment losses of $9.6 million, $0.0 million and $8.9 million, respectively, including amounts classified within discontinued operations.
Management, periodically but not less than annually, evaluates our outstanding loans and notes receivable. When management identifies potential loan impairment indicators, such as non-payment under the loan documents, impairment of the underlying collateral, financial difficulty of the operator or other circumstances that may impair full execution of the loan documents, and management believes these indicators are permanent, then the loan is written down to the present value of the expected future cash flows. In cases where expected future cash flows cannot be estimated, the loan is written down to the fair value of the collateral. The fair value of the loan is determined by market research, which includes valuing the property as a nursing home as well as other alternative uses. We recorded loan impairments of $0.1 million, $0.0 million and $0.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively.
In accordance with FASB Statement No. 114, Accounting by Creditors for Impairment of a Loan and FASB Statement No. 118, Accounting by Creditors for Impairment of a Loan Income Recognition and Disclosures, we currently account for impaired loans using the cost-recovery method applying cash received against the outstanding principal balance prior to recording interest income (see Note 5 Other Investment).
Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations
Pursuant to the provisions of SFAS No. 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets, the operating results of specified real estate assets that have been sold, or otherwise qualify as held for disposition (as defined by SFAS No. 144), are reflected as discontinued operations in the consolidated statements of operations for all periods presented. We had three assets held for sale as of December 31, 2005 with a combined net book value of $1.2 million. We held no assets that qualified as held for sale as of December 31, 2004.
The following is our discussion of the consolidated results of operations, financial position and liquidity and capital resources, which should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Our Board of Directors, including our Audit Committee, concluded on October 24, 2006, to restate our audited financial results as of December 31, 2005 and 2004 and for the three years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003 and for other periods affected, including its unaudited financial statements for each quarterly period in 2005 and 2004 (the Restatement). As more fully described in Note 15 Restatement of Previously Issued Financial Statements to our consolidated financial statements, we have restated our previously issued consolidated financial statements to correct errors in previously reported amounts related to income tax matters and certain debt and equity investments in Advocat Inc. (Advocat), as well as of the recording of certain straight-line rental income. All financial information contained herein has been revised to reflect the restatements. The Restatement reflects the following adjustments:
1. Debt and Equity Investments in Advocat
We recorded asset values for securities received from Advocat (and the increases therein) since the completion of the restructuring of Advocat obligations pursuant to leases and mortgages for the facilities then operated by Advocat in 2000. These adjustments will increase total assets by $5.4 million and $5.1 million as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively. These adjustments will also increase net income by $1.6 million, $1.9 million and $0.0 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. Changes in the fair value of the securities not currently recognized in net income will be reflected in other comprehensive income.
2. Income Tax Matters
We determined that certain terms of the Advocat Series B non-voting, redeemable convertible preferred stock could be interpreted as affecting our compliance with federal income tax rules applicable to REITs regarding related party tenant income. As such, Advocat may be deemed to be a related party tenant under applicable federal income tax rules. In such event, rental income from Advocat would not be qualifying income under the gross income tests that are applicable to REITs. In order to maintain qualification as a REIT, we annually must satisfy certain tests regarding the source of our gross income. The applicable federal income tax rules provide a savings clause for REITs that fail to satisfy the REIT gross income tests if such failure is due to reasonable cause. A REIT that qualifies for the savings clause will retain its REIT status but will pay a tax under section 857(b)(5) and related interest. We currently plan to submit to the IRS a request for a closing agreement to resolve the related party tenant issue. While we believe there are valid arguments that Advocat should not be deemed a related party tenant, the matter is not free from doubt, and we believe it is in our best interest to request a closing agreement in order to resolve the matter, minimize potential interest charges and obtain assurances regarding our continuing REIT status. By submitting a request for a closing agreement, we believe we should be able to establish that any failure to satisfy the gross income tests was due to reasonable cause.
As a result of our holding of Advocat securities, we recorded reserves related to a potential tax liability arising from our ownership of such securities. This tax liability along with related interest expense had not been previously accrued for and this adjustment will decrease net income by $2.4 million, $0.4 million and $0.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. The amount accrued represents the estimated liability, which remains subject to final resolution and therefore is subject to change.
3. Recording of Rental Income
We have made a correction to our accounting for certain leases because these leases contain provisions (such as increases in rent based on the lesser of a fixed amount or two times the Consumer Price Index) that require us to record rental income on a straight-line basis subject to an appropriate evaluation of collectibility. Historically, we have recorded rental income for leases with these provisions based on contractual scheduled rent payments, rather than on a straight-line basis in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standard (SFAS) No. 13, Accounting for Leases, and Financial Accounting Standards Board Technical Bulletin No. 88-1 Issues Related to Accounting for Leases. As a result of this adjustment, our net income will increase by $2.8 million, $1.9 million and $1.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2005, 2004 and 2003, respectively. In addition, net accounts
receivable and retained earnings will increase by $9.1 million and $6.3 million as of December 31, 2005 and 2004, respectively, to reflect the effects of this adjustment from inception of the affected leases.
Year Ended December 31, 2005 compared to Year Ended December 31, 2004
Our operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2005 totaled $110.3 million, an increase of $22.8 million, over the same period in 2004. The $22.8 million increase was primarily a result of new investments made throughout 2004 and 2005, contractual interest revenue associated with the payoff of a mortgage note, re-leasing and restructuring activities completed throughout 2004 and 2005, as well as scheduled contractual increases in rents. The increase in operating revenues from new investments was partially offset by a reduction in mortgage interest income.
Detailed changes in operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2005 are as follows:
· Rental income was $95.2 million, an increase of $25.0 million over the same period in 2004. The increase was primarily due to new leases entered into throughout 2004 and 2005, re-leasing and restructuring activities.