Florida Medical Center Acquires Home Health Agency, Takes Over Management

The Board of Commissioners for a Florida medical center voted 5-2 on Monday to acquire an area home health agency in order to enter the rapidly-growing home health market, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Halifax Health will acquire nonprofit organization Council on Aging Home Health, a Daytona Beach-based senior care provider, in a deal that was necessitated by health care reform’s push to reduce hospitalizations, said the hospital’s CEO.

“We felt this was the best entry to the market, keeping in my mind that our objective here is to reduce or eliminate readmissions to the hospital,” Feasel said. “That was really our driver in looking at home health businesses to begin with.”

Council on Aging Home Health, which employs about 50 people, provides in-home skilled nursing and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Hospital officials say patients recovering from an operation or stroke, being discharged from rehabilitative services or simply in need of additional care could use the home-health service.

Under the deal’s terms, Halifax Health will take over management, overseeing clinical operations, human resources and accounting. The hospital will appoint three of the six members of the Council on Aging Home Health’s oversight board and receive 50 percent of the business’s revenue.

Commissioner Glenn Ritchey’s motion to acquire the business calls for purchasing the business in whole within two years. A provision exists, however, that allows either party to exit the agreement without consent.

Projections show the home health business would operate at a loss during the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years but begin turning a profit after that.

Feasel said the Council on Aging would be in jeopardy of ceasing its home-health operation and letting its license lapse if the hospital’s board did not approve the deal this month.

Halifax Health’s name recognition and its ability to recommend the home health agency to outgoing patients along with better marketing efforts will help the business become profitable, according to hospital officials. 

Read the full piece at The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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