Hospice Care of South Carolina Purchases Agape Hospice

Hospice Care of South Carolina (HCSC) has completed the acquisition of Spartansburg, S.C.-based Agape Hospice for an undisclosed sum. HCHC is a portfolio company of The Vistria Group, a private investment firm located in Chicago. 

The combined company’s more than 800 employees care for a patient population that exceeds 1,400 people throughout 46 South Carolina counties. Neither hospice is expected to rebrand in the near future, the Vistria Group indicated.

“It is our mission to bring the highest quality care to patients and families throughout the Southeastern United States,” said Troy Yarborough, CEO of HCSC. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to partner with a similarly high-performing, mission-driven organization which allows us to enhance our services in South Carolina.”

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The Vistria Group has been active in the hospice space for several years and has seen growth among its portfolio companies. Among them is Minnesota-based St Croix Hospice, which in August acquired Hometown Hospice & Home Care in Wisconsin. St. Croix also opened a number of de novos during 2019 and one so far in 2020. 

“The Vistria Group focuses on three key sectors – health care, education and finance. In each of these areas we constantly look for great companies with a strong mission-orientation,” David Schuppan, senior partner at The Vistria Group, told Hospice News. “In Agape, we saw an opportunity to partner with a leading, respected peer. We were drawn to its culture, including its overriding commitment to clinical excellence. Hospice care has been a focus area for The Vistria Group for a long time.”

Vistria was drawn to the South Carolina market by strong demographic tailwinds. The number of South Carolina residents who are older than 60 is expected to double between 2000 and 2030, according to the state’s Plan on Aging. The senior population in that state rose nearly 17% between 2010 and 2014.

Slightly more than 50% of Medicare decedents in South Carolina elected hospice care during 2017, which is in line with the national utilization rate, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Utah leads the nation in hospice utilization at 59.4%

“South Carolina has favorable hospice demographics and is a state Vistria knows well and is already doing business in. As it is HCSC’s core market, we viewed a combination with Agape as a way to reach more patients in the state and ultimately deliver better care,” Schuppan said.

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