Amedisys Eyes Growth With Fewer Regulations Ahead

Coming off positive end-of-year earnings results and a recent acquisition of a major hospital group’s home health and hospice facilities, post-acute care provider Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) is hedging its bets on growing its business lines with fewer regulatory burdens in the way.

That’s one of the messages from the Baton Rouge-based company’s CEO Paul Kusserow, who presented Tuesday at the Oppenheimer 27th Annual Healthcare Conference in New York City. With some new regulations delayed, including new bundled payment models, Kusserow sees an opportunity for more burdensome requirements to be put on the back burner in Washington, D.C. On this, he was bullish on the impact of fewer regulations on Amedisys, despite some uncertainty.

“If I told you anything assuredly, you’d know I was lying,” Kusserow said of the regulatory changes in Washington, D.C. “No one knows what’s going on out there. [There is] a general aura of goodness, we think.”

With recent management changes in place, Kusserow is eyeing an “executional phase” to capitalize on the opportunities as lawmakers continue to change and potentially scale back regulations, he said.

However, the company is prepared to handle the implementation of the Pre-Claim Review Demonstration (PCRD) in Florida, which is scheduled to begin next month in the state. The controversial program has been underway in Illinois since August 2016, and is expected to roll out in Florida, Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan, despite heavy pushback from providers, industry groups and lawmakers in affected states. Amedisys’ Florida operations represent 7% of its overall revenue.

Looking ahead, the company is focused on improving its star ratings for Medicare-certified home health locations and growing home health revenue.

“We’re a straight-A student who came back with a report card full of As and one B-minus,” Kusserow said of the service line compared to its other businesses.

In addition to having new talent in place at the company, Amedisys has also completed its lengthy integration of software system Homecare Homebase.

“I want to ban disruption and chop from my vocabulary,” Kusserow said, referring to the financial and operational disruptions the company has experienced over the last two years as a result of the Homecare Homebase integration.

In 2017, Amedisys will seek “big” acquisitions instead of smaller deals, and aims to increase its penetration as a provider alongside ambulatory services.

Written by Amy Baxter

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Amy Baxter
Assistant Editor at Home Health Care News
When not writing about all things home health, Amy fulfills her lifelong dream of becoming a pirate by sailing in regattas and enjoying rum. Fun fact: she sailed 333 miles across Lake Michigan in the Chicago Yacht Club "Race to Mackinac."