FutureFocus May 2, 2018: Multi-Mega Deals Change Post-Acute Future

Lisa Remington

In this week’s FutureFocus, we discuss the announcement of the recent mega-mergers reshaping the future of post-acute services. The transactions position Humana to become the largest hospice provider, and ProMedica Health System as the second largest post-acute and long-term care provider. In our Washington Report, CMS's Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) is changing its direction. We share their 8 new focus areas.

Lisa Remington, President, Remington Health Strategy Group

Humana, along with private equity firms TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, announced an acquisition of hospice provider Curo for $1.4 billion. The same companies announced in December the acquisition of Kindred Healthcare in a $4.1 billion deal. The two separate deals, pending regulatory closure, would effectively make Humana owner of the country's largest hospice operator. 5 things to know:

  1. Curo operates 245 locations in 22 states and presents the possible integration of Humana's services in managing home health, palliative and hospice care.
  2. The group is purchasing Curo for about $1.4 billion, in which Humana will have a 40% interest
  3. Humana is already investing in the senior population, as the second biggest provider of Medicare Advantage plans.
  4. There’s 65% geographic overlap between Kindred and Humana’s MA populations.
  5. The deal is expected to close in summer 2018.

2019 Hospice Payment Increasing

The news comes on the heels of CMS announcing an increase in hospice payments in 2019.

For FY 2019, it appears aggregate hospice payments and the statutory annual cap would both increase by 1.8% ($340 million) from FY 2018 levels, which is based on a hospital market-basket update of 2.9%, minus the statutorily mandated cuts of 0.8 percentage points for productivity and an additional 0.3 percentage point cut. In addition, the rule implements the BiBA requirement that recognizes physician assistants as attending physicians for hospice beneficiaries.