In the midst of the in-home care M&A resurgence, Charter Healthcare Group has made a few moves of its own. Its recent acquisitions of Heartwood Home Health & Hospice and Vitality Home Healthcare reflect its two-pronged acquisition growth strategy. Founded in 2006, Charter is a rapidly growing PE-backed post-acute care platform company. Lately, when it comes to dealmaking, Charter has set its sights set on smaller organizations that need additional support, especially ones that share its focus on palliative care and complex care management services, Steve J. Larkin, the company’s CEO, told Home Health Care News.
LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG) announced today that it has agreed to purchase East Valley Hospice and East Valley Palliative Care in Mesa, Arizona. The agreement is expected to close on January 1, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. LHC Group expects annualized revenue from this purchase of approximately $4.8 million and that it will not materially affect its 2020 diluted earnings per share. Both providers will continue to operate under the East Valley Hospice and East Valley Palliative Care names, respectively. In San Marcos, Texas, the company finalized an expansion of its joint venture with CHRISTUS Health to enhance hospice services in that market. LHC Group first announced the purchase agreement in October 2020. LHC Group operates more than 110 hospice locations around the nation.
Interest in the hospice mergers and acquisitions market will remain high despite record-high multiples occurring in the space, April Anthony, CEO of Encompass Home Health & Hospice (NYSE: EHC), said at the Hospice News Elevate conference. Encompass expects to complete hospice transactions late in 2020 or early in 2021 after seeing some deals delayed early in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Affinity Hospice Holdings (“Affinity”), a portfolio company of MBF Healthcare Partners II, L.P. announced today the signing of a definitive purchase agreement to acquire Hands of Mercy Hospice of South Carolina (“Hands of Mercy”), a hospice care company located in Northern South Carolina. This is the first acquisition for Affinity in South Carolina and will lay the foundation for future growth and expansion in South Carolina. The acquisition is anticipated to close in the next 45 days, subject to customary regulatory and licensure approvals. Affinity Hospice, a Birmingham, AL based hospice provider, is the leading provider of high-quality end of life care services in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation’s Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) demonstration led to a 25 percent decrease in total Medicare expenditures, according to a new report. The model, which started in 2016 and runs through 2021, is designed to allow beneficiaries who qualify for Medicare hospice benefit (MHB) to continue to receive care from other Medicare providers for their terminal condition. (Normally, Medicare beneficiaries who elect to receive hospice care cannot also receive curative treatment for their life-limiting condition. Fewer than half of beneficiaries choose MBH and those that do elect MBH do so less than a week before death.)
Bayada Home Health Care — one of the largest nonprofit providers of in-home care and post-acute care services in the country — is expanding its already massive footprint. It’s doing so at a time when the need for home-based care is at an all-time high. On Thursday, the Moorestown, New Jersey-based company announced it is forming a new joint venture with Baptist Health, a faith-based, mission-driven health system in Northeast Florida. The new JV will be known as “Baptist Home Health Care by Bayada” and begin operations in early 2021, pending licensing and regulatory approvals.
The Boards of Directors of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County (VNHFC) and Waveny LifeCare Network (WLN) are pleased to announce that they have entered into an exclusive letter of intent to combine home care and hospice operations to better serve patients in Fairfield County and beyond. The organizations intend to enter into a formal Affiliation Agreement by year end 2020, subject to final due diligence, regulatory approvals and final board approvals. The parties propose for VNHFC to initially become a wholly-owned subsidiary of WLN, but plan to explore the opportunity of formally merging operations with WLN’s affiliate, Waveny Home Healthcare, at a later date. The transaction is subject to review and approval by several governmental agencies, including Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, and separate approvals will be sought if the parties determine to formally merge.
A number of major Medicare Advantage (MA) carriers are expanding their supplemental benefit offerings shaped around in-home care next year. UnitedHealthcare, the insurance arm of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), is among them. Overall, UnitedHealthcare partners with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals across the U.S., plus another 6,500 or so hospitals and other care facilities. In 2020, UnitedHealthcare had more MA enrollees than any other group. In 2021, most of its plans will include HouseCalls, a program that offers Medicare and Medicaid members a yearly in-home visit with a licensed clinician. Apart from its HouseCalls program, at least six UnitedHealthcare plans are offering in-home support services under the “primarily health-related” supplemental benefit pathway in 2021.
Addus recently acquired home care service providers in Pennsylvania, Montana and New Mexico, as well as VIP Health Care Services, a provider out of Richmond Hill, New York. “Acquisitions have been and remain an important part of our growth strategy at Addus,” Addus CEO Dirk Allison said. “We have strategically maintained a strong capital structure, which allows us to take advantage of acquisition opportunities as they occur.” Addus “took a short pause” from pursuing new acquisitions during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is now fully reengaged in the process of identifying and closing additional acquisition, he added.
In an effort to bolster its at-home care offerings in the San Diego market, 24 Hour Home Care has acquired Grace Care Management, another home care agency located in the area. Since its founding in 2008, Los Angeles-based 24 Hour Home Care has grown quickly and steadily. But that growth has been mostly organic — until now. Grace Care Management will become a part of the 24 Hour Home Care brand later this month. The deal will mark 24 Hour Home Care’s fifth acquisition overall.
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