Amedisys going after 2,000 mom-and-pop home health targets

    Amedisys Inc., the Baton Rouge-based home health giant, has its sights set on acquiring 2,000 existing home health agencies, Home Health Care News reports, meaning the company considers more than 17% of the industry up for grabs.

    Paul Kusserow, the company’s president and CEO, made the comments Thursday at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care fall conference in Chicago. Amedisys even has a wish list of home health targets: mom-and-pop agencies likely to struggle with the perfect storm of industry-shaping regulatory changes looming in the not-so-distant future.

    Key drivers of such a “land rush”—which is likely to kick off within the first few months of 2020—include the new models for patient groupings, new payment request policies and changes to rural add-on payments. Depending on the effects of these, some home health agencies could also see cash flow losses as high as 26% moving from December to January—and up to 43% from January to February.

    “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is going … after elements of the home business to change it, moving fundamentally from a per-visit type of reimbursement to a [value-based] reimbursement,” Kusserow said. “The effects of some of the things [CMS is] going to do are extraordinary, in the sense that it will push a lot of mom-and-pop agencies out of business.”

    But Amedisys is not entirely focused on acquisitions. The company plans to continue building home health businesses from scratch, currently doing so at a clip of 12 to 15 startups per year.

    Founded in 1982, Amedisys is now about five years removed from the launch of a strategic turnaround, led by Kusserow. Currently, the company has more than 21,000 employees who deliver care across 471 care centers within 38 states and the District of Columbia, making it one of the biggest players in the home health space, though it only controls about 4% of the overall market.

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