South Carolina-headquartered hospice provider Agape Care Group has expanded into Georgia where it will serve 12 counties. Agape is a portfolio company of the Chicago-based private equity firm The Vistria Group.
Agape Care Group’s more than 900 employees care for 1,500 patients annually in South Carolina and now Georgia, providing hospice and palliative care. The new location is situated in the city of Augusta and will serve as the foundation for a soon-to-grow network in Georgia.
“We’re honored to be able to bring our services to the Augusta community and surrounding areas,” Agape Care CEO Troy Yarborough said. “This is an exciting opportunity for us to continue providing the highest-quality hospice care for patients and their families.”
The Vistria Group-backed Hospice Care of South Carolina acquired Agape Hospice in early 2020 for an undisclosed amount. The combined organization then reorganized under the Agape Care Group brand. Vistria Group in 2020 sold its other asset in the space, St. Croix Hospice, to PE firm H.I.G. Capital, marking one of the largest hospice transactions to occur last year.
Agape Care recently launched a COVID-19 vaccine program that began with its employees and is now being mobilized to vaccinate home-bound patients. The company’s geographic footprint spans the entire state of South Carolina making it uniquely positioned to reach vulnerable patients, particularly those in rural areas who would otherwise have to travel long distances to receive vaccines.
Agape Care Group’s legacy organizations previously served the Georgia market as Hospice Care of Georgia. Hospice utilization in that state among Medicare decedents reached 51% during 2018, which is in line with that year’s national average, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.
Demographic tailwinds are strong in Georgia, where the 60 and older population is growing more quickly than other age groups. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 20% of Georgia’s population will be 60 and older by the year 2030, up nearly 34% from 2012.
“Our local leadership team has roots in this region and is familiar with these communities,” Yarborough said. “We understand how to deliver the best possible care to our patients and families here, and we’re dedicated to serving with love in every interaction.”