Bidders Aside, Gentiva Positioning to be Major Post-Acute Care Player

With talks heating up in recent months around two possible acquirers for major home health and hospice provider Gentiva (NYSE: GTIV), the company says regardless of a possible merger, it’s positioning itself to be a major presence in the post-acute care sector.

Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) and an unnamed party have upped their bids for Gentiva over the last two months, with Kindred most recently restating its offer to purchase the company for $17.25 per share. The unnamed second bidder is speculated to be a private equity based company in the health care space. 

While company executives declined to address the merger and acquisition talks due to non-disclosure agreements signed by the involved parties, the company says it while it will not comment on offers, it is continuing to improve its position in the health care space. 

“Home Health and Hospice plays an important role in the post-acute care delivery system and offers a cost-effective alternative to more costly settings,” Gentiva CEO Tony Strange said during a call with analysts to discuss the company’s second quarter performance. “…and we think Gentiva is well positioned to be a major player in the post-acute care space.” 

The company reported earnings of $0.38 per diluted share during the quarter, up 73% from $0.22 per diluted share in the second quarter of 2013. Performance improved across both Gentiva’s home health and hospice business segments, partly on reduction of expenses. 

But further potential may be realized in the company’s recent rollout of One Gentiva. The model was adopted in the fourth quarter of 2013 to bring all three business lines under a general management structure at a regional level. 

“Since adopting this model, we have fully implemented new organizational structures and incentive plans in the field,” Strange said. 

The model is proving beneficial in several ways, he explained, with just two quarters since it was implemented. 

“We’re already seeing the margin benefits of the streamlined management structure in our operating results,” Strange said. “Over time, we expect to see increased volume as improved referral source communication and patient care coordination between division translates into a more comprehensive patient care and increased admissions.”

Written by Elizabeth Ecker