New businesses in Waters part of plan to help another enterprise – Petoskey News-Review


WATERS — Corey and Sarah Pranger are opening two businesses to keep another business going.

The Prangers operate Beacon Therapies Inc. in Waters and in 2019 the couple purchased a building located at 10740 Old U. S. Highway 27 south right across the street from the EZ Mart (BP) gas station and convenience store.

The Prangers had built Beacon into a family-owned rehabilitation company that worked with those who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), mainly from an auto accidents. Beacon was offering a full range of vocational rehabilitation, physical therapy, therapeutic recreation, family therapy plus home management retraining to its clients.

For those who suffer a TBI, they need a specialized program to enable them to not only recover from their injuries, but also to regain the ability to walk and talk again in many cases. It’s an arduous and long process that requires focused care.

Beacon Therapies was doing well until the state enacted changes in the no-fault auto insurance laws in 2019. Last year saw the implementation of a fee schedule that reduced the reimbursement by 45 percent in order to Beacon from insurance companies for health care services provided to auto accident survivors not covered under Medicare.

“We were already charging within what they had deemed reasonable — 200 percent of Medicare — but it didn’t matter, ” said Sarah. “They’re still able to cut us by 45 percent and it really cut into our profit. ”

The Prangers acquired the building in 2019 “to be a sheltered work environment to reteach job skills” to accident victims, Sarah said.

“(The change) prevented us from growing and I had to take a second job for us to be able to make ends meet and keep it going, ” Corey said.

This summer, in a bid to keep their company going and also provide a safe work place for some of their clients, the particular Prangers opened Water’s End Café and a pet spa called Grooming for Good in the building on South 27.

“What we are trying to do is keep the program going without having to discharge any clients, ” said Sarah. “We thought this will create some local jobs and allow us to continue to provide a sheltered environment for our clients. ”

The Prangers have opened the coffee shop and pet spa to find alternative ways to fund their TBI programs “since we see so many declined and reduced payments from the insurance companies now. This will help us keep our doors open to those that require more intensive therapy interventions to reintegrate into their communities, ” Sarah said.

Some of the Beacon customers work at the shops and they not only earn money but also relearn the skills needed to live independently again.

The particular reductions in reimbursements means that Beacon can’t start any new programs, noted Corey.

“We can continue what we have currently. We did have to eliminate a residential program and had to let four people go, ” he stated.

In an effort to build the coffee shop, the Prangers are partnering with an instructor to provide yoga and coffee. They also are usually collaborating with a dance instructor to teach adaptive dance in order to toddlers with special needs.

The Water’s End Cafe is open Sunday through Friday through 8 a. m. until 6 p. m. The Grooming for Good Spa is open by appointment Sunday through Friday.

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