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Gentiva Agrees to Buy Odyssey for About $1 Billion – Medicare Cuts Leading to Consolidation of Nursing Homes Firms Traded

Posted May 24 2010 12:34pm

With this acquisition, the combined company becomes the largest nursing home/hospice company in the US.  It’s a billion dollar or better business too.  I might guess too that with the “for profit” focus we could stand to see lesser dollar amounts perhaps paid here and the continued seeking of getting more dollars from individuals image or perhaps even from the Medicare Part D plans.  On your dying bed one day you will be checking to see what hospice is in network and the stress and wrong choices will be there for your surviving family members to deal with when the bills come due with settling an estate. 

Do nursing homes and hospice care belong on stock markets?  To me anyway, this just doesn’t fit good ethics to have to make a profit from death and the care of loved ones at the end of life.  We already have Human Hedge funds working which use a type of derivative to allow people to invest and wage against how long a disease group of individuals will live, which is pretty sick, so I would guess in time with the way everyone is aggregating data, will you start to see this type of policy combined with the efforts of hospice?  It wouldn’t surprise me at all with some of the rest of what goes on as many people in hospice needing care also have these policies they have cashed in, but the investors keep them alive to wager against. 

Again, I wonder where ethics come into play and do some areas of healthcare need to be traded on the open market.  Will we see a spill over of data from the for profit hospice care integrate with the Human Hedge funds?  It’s the way everyone is rolling data and sounds pretty sick in my estimation but again when number crunchers see those “shining star algorithms” with the hope of making a buck, ethics seem to go out the door.  BD   

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Gentiva Health Services Inc., the second-largest U.S. home-nursing company, agreed to buy Odyssey HealthCare Inc. for about $1 billion in cash to expand its hospice care to 30 U.S. states.

The combination of the two companies will create the biggest U.S. hospice and home health-care provider, with $1.8 billion in annual revenue, the companies said in a statement today. Investors of Dallas-based Odyssey will receive $27 a share in the agreement, the companies said. image

Home-nursing companies led by Atlanta-based Gentiva and Amedisys Inc. were expected to lead a consolidation of the industry, now dominated by thousands of mom-and-pop companies, after the U.S. slashed Medicare reimbursements in the health- care overhaul. Buying Odyssey trims Gentiva’s reliance on Medicare reimbursement home health care to 60 percent from as much as 85 percent, said Sheryl Skolnick, a CRT Capital Group LLC analyst in Stamford, Connecticut.

“This deal is a game-changing transaction,” said Sheryl Skolnick, a CRT Capital Group LLC analyst in Stamford, Connecticut.

“For an industry with only about $17 billion in revenue a year, that was a big cut,” she said. “It’s also front-end loaded so the bigger cuts come early.”

Gentiva will lose 3 to 4 percent of its revenue in 2011 because of the lower federal reimbursements on home health care, Skolnick said.

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