Business Briefs: Amedisys To Grant Wishes Of Terminally Ill Patients

Amedisys Foundation Enters New Partnership To Help Terminally Ill Patients

Amedisys Foundation has partnered with Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally ill adults, to help grant wishes to terminally ill patients.

Through this partnership, Amedisys hospice centers will have the opportunity to grant patients’ wishes.

“We’re excited to join with Dream Foundation to honor the dreams of hospice patients,” Paul Kusserow, president and CEO of Amedisys, said in a press release. “Of course, fulfilling the needs of patients, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, is what we already do every hour of every day, but through the partnership between Amedisys Foundation and Dream Foundation, we’re going to get the opportunity to deliver on an even bigger scale.”

A social worker at any Amedisys hospice center can fill out the application on the Dream Foundation’s website. Amedisys Foundation and Dream Foundation will grant at least one dream at all 81 of Amedisys’ hospice centers each year, Amedisys told Home Health Care News.

To qualify for program, patients must be at least 18 years old, have a life expectancy of one year or less and lack the resources to achieve their dreams on their own.

“We are grateful to the Amedisys Foundation for its generous support of Dream Foundation,” Kisa Heyer, CEO of Dream Foundation, said in the press release. “Its commitment to help us touch lives, meet essential needs and provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life enables us to serve many others in need of a final dream.”

Almost Family Enters $350 Million Credit Facility

Home health provider Almost Family (Nasdaq: AFAM) has entered into a new, five-year $350 million revolving credit facility, which will increase the company’s financial flexibility through 2021. This credit facility will replace the company’s previous $175 million facility.

Almost Family also has passed the necessary regulatory approvals for the acquisition of the controlling interest in Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CYH). After the transaction is complete at the end of 2016, the acquisition will create the largest home health-hospital joint venture in the nation, bringing Almost Family into 10 new states.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this larger facility, along with having received the necessary regulatory approvals we need to close on the previously announced CHS joint-venture,” William Yarmuth, CEO of Almost Family, said in a press release. “Both of these accomplishments will allow us to close on the transaction by the end of the year. We look forward to getting this deal closed and getting started on our exciting new partnership.”

The company’s revenue run rate is anticipated to topple $800 million due to the acquisition.

“We are very pleased with the results of our syndication effort, providing us with a lower cost facility that now has the capacity to be as large as a half-billion dollars,” said Steve Guenthner, president of Almost Family.

The New Jewish Home, ReServe Partner to Offer Dementia Care Support

The New Jewish Home has partnered with nonprofit ReServe, which matches professionals 55 and older with organizations that can benefit from their knowledge, to help rehabilitation patients navigate dementia care services as they prepare for discharge from Jewish Home and for three months afterwards.

The navigators in the program will be trained by ReServe then assigned to Jewish Home rehabilitation patients who are living with dementia.

“With people living longer, and more and more of us opting to age in place at home, the need for health care professionals who can connect patients to home- and community-based services has become greater than ever before,” Audrey Weiner, president and CEO of The Jewish Home, said. “With their deep well of life and professional experience, the members of ReServe are ideally suited to this role.”

In addition to counseling individuals and families of individuals living with dementia, dementia care navigators will connect them to resources and services that may be covered by insurance and help guide them in decision-making.

“We’re excited to begin this partnership with The Jewish Home, which has a long history of innovation in elder care,” Christine McMahon, president and CEO of ReServe, said in the press release. “We are like-minded in our goal to transform community-based care for older adults, and we know that our dementia care coaches have the skills, experience and passion to make a difference.”

BrightStar Care Opens 300th Location

By partnering with a former corporate executive turned BrightStar Care franchisee, BrightStar Care has opened its 300th franchise location in Tinley Park, Illinois.

The franchise owner, Gary Ratkiewicz, is a former corporate executive of two publicity traded companies and was looking for a business opportunity in the health care industry after experiencing end-of-life care in his own family.

“BrightStar Care’s tremendous growth speaks volumes about the company’s model,” Ratkiewicz said in a press release. “They place a significant emphasis on quality and personalized care and have a consistent model that franchisees are able to replicate for their own clients.”

Since the company’s entrance into the franchise market in 2005, BrightStar Care has expanded throughout the country as well as Canada.

“When I decided to franchise BrightStar Care, the vision was to elevate the standards of in-home care for families across the country,” Shelly Sun, CEO and founder of BrightStar Care, said in the press release. “The fact that Gary’s reasons for joining our franchise stem matched the original motivations for founding the company—and that it’s in the Chicagoland area where we started—makes the milestone location even more meaningful.”

ProperCare and Seton Healthcare Family Launch New Program

ProperCare has partnered with Seton Healthcare Family to launch a new care management pilot program to assist the aging population.

The program will focus around patient advocacy to give peace of mind to families and aging patients during transitions home from the hospital. The program will equip patients with resources and support needed to recuperate at home, according to a press release.

“We’re looking forward to working with Seton to identify the most vulnerable of their elderly patient population and provide care management services that help them recover to their full capacity at home,” Bill Wagenbaur, executive vice president and director of post-acute transitions at ProperCare, said in a press release. “Many times, elderly patients don’t have the support they need. We serve as surrogate family members to advocate for them and ensure they have the best possible care.”

ProperCare will use Seton’s clinically integrated network providers such as skilled nursing facilities, rehabs and home health and hospice organizations to help optimize their services after patients are discharged from the hospital.

“Seton is excited to be a part of this innovative geriatric initiative pilot program with ProperCare,” said Whitney Power, trend watcher and communication strategist for Seton Healthcare Family. “We are thrilled to be able to enhance and improve our patients’ experience with this groundbreaking program.”

The partnership is beginning at three of Seton’s hospitals and aims to provide services for 400 patients in six months.

Written by Alana Stramowski