As Advisory Firms Prepare for 2020 Boom, Stoneridge Launches New Consulting Group

In order to help health care organizations navigate post-acute care industry headwinds in 2020, M&A advisory firm Stoneridge Partners has launched the Stoneridge Strategic Consulting Group.

The newly launched department will fall under the leadership of industry thought-leader Tom Lillis.

The Stoneridge Strategic Consulting Group will provide consultation for health care organizations seeking to combat financial, regulatory, clinical and operational challenges in 2020 and beyond. Just some of those challenges include the upcoming Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), the elimination of home health pre-payments and the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD).

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“We will be doing everything from software selection to market services selection,” Rich Tinsley, president and CEO of Stoneridge Partners, told Home Health Care News. “And we help health care organizations figure out if they should build a post-acute care operation, partner with one, start one or buy one when building out their health system.”

Generally, the impact of PDGM is often discussed from a provider perspective, as many believe the looming payment overhaul will trigger a wave of intense industry consolidation and force smaller providers out of business.

But PDGM will also likely shape peripheral business landscapes next year as well, an idea echoed in Stoneridge’s decision to build out its consulting services.

“[PDGM] is another thing in the health ecosystem that is making things more complicated,” Tinsley said. “The changes in the payment system have contributed to the need for people to get a clearer vision of what to do. It’s an opportunity from a consulting perspective to provide service to our existing clients — and a new realm of clients.”

Lillis, who will serve as Stoneridge Strategic Consulting Group’s associate partner, brings 25 years of consulting experience to his new role.

Prior to joining Stoneridge, Lillis served as principal senior vice president at McBee Associates Inc. Before that, he served in a handful of leadership roles at companies such as KPMG Consulting, The Hackett Group, Alliente and Symantec Corporation

Similar to Tinsley, Lillis likewise emphasized how 2020 could experience a boom for post-acute advisory and consulting firms.

“The non-acute environment today is increasingly challenging, with regulatory and reimbursement changes, staffing and technology limits, and growing patient populations,” Lillis said in a statement. “There are also opportunities emerging that didn’t exist five or 10 years ago.”

Broadly, the post-acute care market is a potentially lucrative one for advisors and consultants, as the sector itself accounts for tens of billions of dollars per year in Medicare payments. In 2018, Medicare spent $17.9 billion on home health services alone, with reimbursements distributed across more than 11,500 agencies.

In addition the launch of Stoneridge Strategic Consulting Group, Stoneridge Partners recently released its monthly Home Health Index.

Overall, home health stocks skyrocketed in November — rising more than 19% after a less-than-stellar performance in October. The company’s HHI tracks the stock values of Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) and LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) every month.

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