Home health and hospice services provider Gentiva Health Services Inc. (NASDAQ:GTIV) announced on Thursday its plans to close nearly 50 home health branches across the country, laying off hundreds of workers in the process.
Gentiva is in the process of closing 46 locations across the country, Paula Shoemaker, vice president of sales support, marketing, and national accounts announced during a February 6 home health industry event, according to an 8-K filing.
This is expected to result in the loss of “hundreds” of clinicians and other health care professionals, which Gentiva blamed on Medicare home health reimbursement rebasing.
“Our 8-K filing with its disclosure of our plans for closing 46 offices stands on its own,” said a Gentiva spokesperson in a statement. “Home health care represents the most cost effective benefit to seniors in Medicare today. But as we previously indicated, if the four year reduction of reimbursement rates expected under CMS ‘rebasing’ continues across the industry, seniors will lose access to home healthcare – and costs will go up because seniors will have to resort to more expensive care options such as Emergency Rooms and hospital stays.”
Gentiva currently has around 430 branch offices in 40 states, with 14,600 employees. Although the company is the largest home health and hospice services provider in the country based on revenue, it recorded $197 million of net losses through the first three quarters of 2013.
The home health industry needs to seek Administrative relief from “significant” rate reductions produced by rebasing reimbursements, Gentiva added. Industry groups have spoken out against the financial impact of proposed home health rebasing that would cut Medicare reimbursements by 14% in the next four years.
Written by Alyssa Gerace