Amedisys acquires home health, hospice services from Midwest-based Visiting Nurse Association

Amedisys has agreed to purchase the home health and hospice services of Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), a nonprofit based in Omaha, Nebraska, the two announced yesterday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although the companies said they expect the deal to close on or around July 1.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys is one of the country’s largest providers of home health and hospice services with roughly 21,000 employees spread across 514 care centers in 39 states.

The company said it pursued the deal to expand its presence around Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, both areas where Amedisys already operates hospices, according to its website. The company also said it would be using its resources to further build out services within the two states in an effort to reach more patients.

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“Amedisys is proud to expand its presence in Omaha’s and Council Bluffs’ healthcare communities and honored to continue and grow VNA’s century of remarkable hospice and home health in the years to come,” Amedisys president and chief operations officer Chris Gerard said in a statement.

VNA, meanwhile, said that it decided to sell off the home health and hospice part of its operations after realizing the additional external support it would need to continue delivering those services and others over the long term.

Going forward, the nonprofit said that will be exclusively focusing on the other essential programs it runs within the region. These include homeless shelter nursing services, parenting support, immunization services and, notably, other work connecting the uninsured to home healthcare and hospice services owned by Amedisys.  

“As VNA reflects on its mission and long history, it has become clear that we should return to our original focus—to serve those in the community who may not have the resources for home health and hospice care services,” VNA President and CEO James Summerfelt said in a statement. “This was our original mission, and there is still tremendous need in our community. We want to ensure that the needs of individuals and families can be met with expertise and compassion well into the future.”

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This deal follows another from Amedisys last month in which the company announced plans to acquire the regulatory assets of North Carolina-based post-acute care provider Charter Health Care Group. It closed on that deal and shared plans to open a home health care center in the area just a few weeks back.

Elsewhere in the space, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a 2.3% ($530 million) pay bump in hospice payments for fiscal year 2022. The agency also proposed new measures of quality as well as Hospice Survey Star ratings similar to those already in play for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

More broadly, the Biden administration has called for billions to support access to home- and community-based care among Medicaid beneficiaries.