Editor’s Picks: Politics, Labor Costs and Dementia

Earnings season is in full swing, and Home Health Care News got the scoop on how various providers fared in the second quarter of 2016. Among those we reported on, we discovered that rising labor costs are taking their toll on even the most prominent home health providers, and that a CFO retirement at Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) jarred investor confidence ahead of the company’s earnings call. Otherwise, we tuned in to the latest coming from our nation’s presidential candidates as related to the home health sector.

Here in the newsroom, we followed along as a woman underwent her first dementia evaluation in three years.

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Amedisys CFO Exit Appears to Spook Investors—Despite Amedisys posting strong earnings for the second quarter of 2016 and beating analysts’ expectations, investors initially didn’t appear confident in the results as the home health and hospice company’s share price plummeted 13% Wednesday morning. Following the provider’s call with investors, the stock began to climb again.

Home Care Takes Center Stage at Democratic Convention—Home care issues were making waves with major coverage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, bringing together caregivers and legislators to discuss the Democratic Party’s new policy goals. During the week of the DNC, several legislators, home care workers and advocates spoke at an event—the Care Revolution Forum at the National Museum of American Jewish History—about key policy issues to improve the home care workforce and increase the availability and accessibility of care.

Rising Labor Costs Hit Addus, Ensign—With minimum wage laws taking effect across the country and new overtime protections in place for home care workers, providers large and small are facing increased challenges in controlling labor costs. Two of the most prominent home health providers in the nation—Addus HomeCare Inc. (Nasdaq: ADUS) and The Ensign Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG)—are no exceptions, with some markets in particular emerging as pressure points.

Political Parties Vow to Prioritize Home Care, Differ on Details—The nominees for the next President of the United States have been chosen by the country’s major political parties in recent national conventions, and each respective party has published their plans for America. For home health, the question of how each candidate could impact the industry lies in recent policy positions made available. We pooled these positions on some key home health issues.

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Around the Web

Letter: Rauner Veto Compromises Alzheimer’s Care—Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner recently vetoed a bill meant to prohibit any governor from reducing access to the state’s Community Care Program arbitrarily. However, certain associations fear the veto could compromise seniors’ access to Alzheimer’s care.

“So That Is Gone”—In another episode documenting Gerda Suanders’ progressive dementia, Sanders has her first evaluation in three years. She learned in 2010 that she had cerebral microvascular disease, a precursor to dementia, and Slate has been following her story since 2014.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt