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The continuum of care expands for company into key markets in Southern states.

By Liz Carey

(May 2, 2018)—Amedisys enlarged its personal care footprint with its subsidiary Associated Home Care’s close of the acquisition of East Tennessee Personal Care Services based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The latest deal builds on the company’s overall strategy of expanding its continuum of care into new markets, Amedisys CEO Paul Kusserow said in a May 2, 2018 press release. Under the terms of the agreement, Massachusetts-based Associated Home Care acquired substantially all assets of East Tennessee Personal Care Services (ETPCS).

Recently, Amedisys has been on a steady diet of acquiring personal care companies in what it considers key markets to provide an aging-in-place solution to patients and to managed care plans. Associated Home Care in Massachusetts joined the Amedisys group in March 2016 through a $28 million acquisition. The year before brought Florida-based Infinity HomeCare at $63 million. Adding personal care services through strong and existing home health connections provides more individualized nonskilled support, helping ensure that patients meet their home health goals, and mitigates the risks of the activities of daily living at home.

The company's strategy includes enhancing overall capabilities through new technologies. In 2016, it was announced the company would partner with performance improver Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) for data and benchmarking solutions, and expand its relationship with customer relationship management (CRM) technology SigmaCare. In 2017, CellTrak Technologies extended its tenured relationship to enhance the personal care division of Amedisys, home health having already been well-established.

In May 2017, Amedisys reported substantial savings—back-office efficiencies, streamlining care centers and office and administrative staff, as well as increasing productivity of field clinicians—after a two-year rollout of the HomeCare HomeBase software. Implementation resulted in increased capacity overall.

Amedisys works with more than 3,000 hospitals and 59,000 physicians nationwide and 17,000-plus employees and 421 care centers in 34 states, caring for 369,000 patients and clients each year. It is credited with developing a nationwide Care Transitions program, designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions through patient and caregiver health coaching and care coordination, which starts in the hospital and continues throughout completion of the patient's home health plan of care.

A range of services is represented through Amedisys companies, including skilled nursing, the therapies, medical social workers, home health aides, caregiver respite care and live-in senior homecare, and hospice, among others. Many patients are covered under Medicaid and Medicare insurance health programs, with Medicare fee-for-service down and Medicare Advantage episodic business (which can be state specific) up. For Amedisys and others, bundled payments have been a part of volume growth, with potential. 

Grown and developed into one of the largest players in homecare, Amedisys nears its 40th anniversary after the founding in 1982 in Reserve, Louisiana, by William Borne. Amedisys is currently headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A first-quarter earnings conference call is scheduled for May 8, 2018.

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