Utah-based Canyon Home Health & Hospice recently acquired Uintah Home Health and Hospice for an undisclosed amount, growing its footprint in the Beehive State.
Uintah Home Health and Hospice patients began receiving services under the Canyon umbrella earlier this month. The home health and hospice provider is part of the home care service line of Uintah Basin Healthcare.
Through the acquisition, Canyon expands its existing reach of these services statewide for improved patient access.
“We are confident that Canyon Home Care & Hospice will offer exemplary, compassionate care,” Uintah Basin Healthcare President and CEO Jim Marshall said in an announcement. “We are honored to have provided care to our home health and hospice patients and their loved ones. We wish them the best, and are hopeful that we can accommodate a smooth transition to ensure continued quality, compassionate care.”
Canyon was established in 2012 and provides community-based home health, hospice, personal and pediatric care services through locations in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada. It also offers pharmacy and durable medical equipment services. The latter services were not included as part of those offered to patients through the acquisition.
The deal is intended to improve care collaborations, quality and reduce reliance on expensive facility-based care for seniors in Utah, according to the company announcement.
“Since our founding, Canyon Home Care & Hospice has had a long-standing commitment to driving innovation and increasing access to high-quality home health and hospice care,” Eddie Norris, managing partner at Canyon, said in the announcement. “The investment in Uintah Basin Home Health and Hospice will allow us to enhance the care coordination with Uintah Basin Medical Center and provide better health outcomes for the patients and clients we serve in the Uintah Basin area.”
Utah holds the highest rate of hospice utilization among Medicare decedents nationwide.
Its hospice utilization rate reached 60.5% in 2018, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. This towered above the national average of 50.3% that year. Delaware was second at 59.4%, and Arizona was third at 58.8%.
Like much of the country, demographics are anticipated to swell demand for aging health care and end-of-life services. Seniors are projected to make up 16.7% of Utah’s overall population by 2030, a rise from 11.7% currently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The aging population’s “dramatic growth” rate will have “significant impacts” on health care providers in the Beehive State, reported the Utah Aging Initiative, a collaborative of state agencies led by the state’s Department of Human Services.
The rising demand for serious illness and hospice care coupled with rising costs of delivering are a “major concern” statewide, according to the report.
“A major concern is the shortage of critical health care components to support the large numbers of elderly who will require health care services; trained caregivers, nurses and health care facilities are likely to be in short supply,” according to the initiative.
From a broader M&A perspective, Canyon Home Health & Hospice’s move additionally reflects a growing appetite for hospice businesses.
Hospice dealmaking hit record levels in 2019 and 2020, as some strategic buyers and investors cooled on home health M&A activity amid the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) transition. Hospice deal making has leveled off so far in 2022, but some believe it to ramp up again because of further home health headwinds expected in 2023.