Acquisitions were the primary driver of strong financial performance for the Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) hospice segment during 2018.
The company acquired 22 new hospice locations last year, with the majority coming from the purchase of Camella Healthcare for $135 million in May.
In fourth quarter 2018 hospice operations grew revenues to $35 million, up 75% from $20.1 million in Q4 2017, according to the company’s Feb. 7 quarterly earnings report. Though acquisitions accounted for most of this, same-store admissions also boosted hospice earnings by 8.6%.
Full-year revenues for the company’s hospice business hit $115 million, up 66% from 2017, said Doug Coltharp, Chief Financial Officer.
Acquisitions will continue to be a centerpiece of the company’s growth strategy during 2019.
“In 2019, we continue to be focused on growth,” said President and CEO Mark Tarr. “… We also have $50 million to $100 million earmarked for home health and hospice acquisitions.”
Overall, operating revenues for the Birmingham, Ala.-based company grew to nearly $1.1 billion, a nearly 9 percent increase from the fourth quarter 2017. Revenues for full year 2018 reached close to $4.2 billion, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.
Encompass’ home health and hospice services combined generated more than $250 million of the company’s consolidated fourth-quarter net operating revenue, a jump of 21.3% from fourth quarter 2017. Home health and hospice services accounted for $250.3 million of the company’s consolidated quarterly net operating revenue. Full year 2018 home health and hospice combined revenue rose more than 20 percent to $931.1 million.