LHC Group, LifePoint Joint Venture Acquires Saline Memorial Hospice

LHC Group (NASDAQ: LHCG) and its joint venture partner LifePoint Health have acquired Bryant, Ark.-based Saline Memorial Hospice, as well as Saline Memorial Home Health, for an undisclosed amount. Both agencies are affiliated with Saline Memorial Hospital, also in Bryant, Ark. 

LHC Group anticipates that the transaction, expected to close on Jan. 1, 2020, would yield nearly $5.4 million in annual revenue. The acquired hospice and home health agencies will not rebrand. 

LHC Group and LifePoint in 2017 established their joint venture partnership, sharing control of LifePoint’s home health and hospice locations as well as LHC Group agencies located in the same markets. A board with equal representation from both companies oversees the partnership, which includes nearly 50 hospice and home health locations in 10 states.

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“We are encouraged and excited by the continued growth and success of our partnership with LifePoint Health,” said Keith Myers, LHC Group chairman and CEO. “Our goal is to help our JV partners expand their footprint, enhance access to these services, and create healthier communities across the country. We look forward to bringing quality, affordable care to even more patients in cooperation with our colleagues at LifePoint.”

In addition to the Saline acquisitions, the joint venture has also closed two previously announced hospice acquisitions, including Casa de la Paz Hospice in Sierra Vista, Ariz. and St. Joseph Family Hospice in Lewiston, Idaho. These hospices will also retain their current names and locations.

In 2017, Arizona had the second-highest number of Medicare decedents who died in hospice at 59.2%, behind only Utah at 59.4%, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

Idaho is 14th in the nation for utilization, with 51.9% of Medicare decedents electing hospice in 2017, NHPCO reports.

LHC Group indicated that they expect nearly $9 million in revenue per year from these acquisitions and that they will not significantly impact the company’s 2019 diluted earnings per share.

LHC Group’s hospice M&A strategy has focused on acquisitions conducted through joint ventures, with an emphasis on co-locating hospices in markets where the company’s home health agencies are already operating. 

“We prefer to go in and target a market and find a hospice that is a high quality, leading, reputable provider in their community and acquire that as part of a joint venture that is bolted on to our home health agencies to create a continuum of care,” Myers told Hospice News.

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