FutureFocus April 11, 2018 MarketScan: Payors Expanding Into Palliative Care

Lisa Remington

In this week’s FutureFocus, we explore the changing landscape of palliative care. More payors are entering the market and recent announcements are advancing two alternative payment models (APMs). In our Industry News section, are major announcements shifting the landscape of the home health market and information technology. In our Legal section, Attorney, Elizabeth Hogue, talks about guidelines for home health agencies with regard to refusal of services and/or non-compliance. 

Lisa Remington, President, Remington Health Strategy Group

Recent mergers and acquisitions are impacting the future of the home health, hospice and information technology landscape. Here's what you should know about the news.

 LHC and Almost Family Complete Merger

LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHCG) and Almost Family, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFAM) announced that they have agreed to combine in an all-stock merger of equals transaction pursuant to a definitive merger agreement unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of each company. 

The merger will create a nationwide provider of in-home healthcare services with a long track record of successfully partnering with hospitals and health systems led by the most experienced management team steeped in home health. The combined company will have 781 locations in 36 states with more than 31,000 employees and revenue of $1.8 billion and Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $145 million for the trailing 12-month period ended September 30, 2017.

Netsmart to Acquire Change Healthcare Home Care and Hospice Solutions

Netsmart announced a definitive agreement to acquire the home care and hospice solutions of Change Healthcare,  formerly known as McKesson Homecare and McKesson Hospice. The Change Healthcare home care and hospice team has established their reputation in the post-acute care space over the last 30 years, and this acquisition is expected to solidify the position of Netsmart as a leading provider of post-acute technology and services.

“We are the largest IT company exclusively serving community-based providers in healthcare,” said Valentine. “Two years ago we entered the post-acute space and since then, we have been laser focused on applying the extended solutions and services that have helped advance our behavioral health and human services clients to the home care and hospice space. Coming into 2018, we have some really solid proof points which support our belief that post-acute providers need more than just a traditional EHR to be successful.”

“In addition to this transaction, we see many opportunities to partner with Change Healthcare to leverage their leading software, connectivity and data solutions to bring more capabilities to the community-based provider world, and we have selected Change Healthcare’s lab connectivity as our preferred solution of lab orders and results distribution capabilities to the Netsmart network,” said Valentine. “We are actively designing some new solutions that leverage our complementary capabilities and will look to begin launching new offerings later this year.”

This transaction is targeted to close in the second quarter of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under U.S. antitrust laws.

Holly Chafee New CEO of VNA Care

VNA Care, a subsidiary of Atrius Health serving more than 50,000 patients each year as Massachusetts’ largest non-profit home health and hospice provider, is pleased to introduce Holly Chaffee, BSN, MSN, RN as President and CEO. The appointment of Chaffee, approved by the Board of Directors in December, was the result of a nationwide search. Chaffee replaces Mary Ann O’Connor, BSN, MBA, who is retiring after a 45-year career in the home care and hospice industry, including the last five years as President and CEO of VNA Care. VNA Care includes VNA Care Network, VNA of Boston, and VNA Hospice and Palliative Care.

For the past decade, Chaffee has been the President and CEO of Porchlight VNA/Home Care, a five-star agency serving communities in Western Massachusetts. Most recently, Chaffee was recognized as a 2017 Healthcare Hero by the publications Business West and Healthcare News, specifically earning the honor as the Health/Wellness Administrator of the year. At Porchlight, a freestanding not-for-profit organization, Chaffee oversaw the full rebranding of a 100+ year-old community organization, and a merger that allowed Porchlight to grow into new larger markets.