BrightSpring Health Services is once again on the move. The goal: to create a multi-faceted, fully integrated health care powerhouse with a suite of services focused on the home.
It’s been nearly one year exactly since global investment firm KKR and an affiliate of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) closed on their $1.32 billion acquisition of home- and community-based care provider BrightSpring. For those who need a reminder, the deal included a subsequent combination with PharMerica Corporation.
“The thesis was to be able to have a very unique platform across pharmacy, home care and clinical home health services,” BrightSpring CEO and President Jon Rousseau told Home Health Care News this week. “That’s really played out well. We’ve been able to integrate our people, cultures and systems extremely well, too.”
Now, the Louisville, Kentucky-based BrightSpring has successfully completed another deal.
The company announced Monday it has acquired the home health and specialty infusion businesses of Advanced Home Care, a high-quality provider organization that has operated in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia for almost three decades.
As part of the deal, Advanced Home Care’s home health division will join BrightSpring’s Adoration Home Health and Hospice business, operating under the name “Advanced Home Health.” Meanwhile, Advanced Home Care’s speciality infusion business will join PharMerica’s Amerita division, operating under the name “Advanced Home Infusion.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There were three specific reasons that made the deal appealing to BrightSpring, Rousseau noted.
“One was that it was an opportunity to increase both our home health and our home infusion capabilities and presence,” he said. “You don’t often see opportunities where there’s both home health and home infusion.”
Secondly, Advanced Home Care’s footprint in North Carolina was important because it complemented the significant home care and pharmacy services BrightSpring already had in the state.
The third key reason: Advanced Home Care’s reputation.
“Advanced Home Care has a 30-year heritage,” Rousseau said. “It offers tremendous partnership, innovation and care management solutions to their ACO and hospital partners, so we’re really excited to build on that.”
Connecting the dots
Formerly known as ResCare, BrightSpring provides a wide range of services to tens of thousands of individuals daily in 49 states. The company has 11 total lines of services, which range from home health and hospice care to behavioral health, non-medical home care, pharmacy services and more.
In terms of patients and clients, BrightSpring targets complex populations more than any one demographic. That includes seniors and individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, plus neurorehabilitation patients and at-risk youth.
Historically, home health hasn’t been BrightSpring’s largest service area. After acquiring Advanced Home Care’s business, however, BrightSpring’s home health footprint now spans six states.
Advanced Home Care’s home health business is split about equally between Medicare and managed care, according to Rousseau. While some believe the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM) may ultimately lead to an uptick in home health dealmaking, the payment change was not a major driver for BrightSpring.
“The timing on this one is purely coincidental,” Rousseau said. “Certainly, everybody has been going through PDGM over the last two months. This company had a very neutral impact, given its mix over referral sources and patients.”
In addition to reinforcing its home health capabilities, BrightSpring’s deal with Advanced Home Care also immediately expands its infusion business.
It’s an area BrightSpring remains bullish on, despite varying degrees of regulatory and reimbursement challenges at the federal level.
Those challenges include provisions under the 21st Century Cures Act that created a “care gap” for home infusion patients. On its end, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a new home infusion benefit via the home health payment rule released Oct. 31.
“Home infusion offers an incredible service. It’s infusion to high-needs populations in the home, instead of much more expensive institutional settings where a patient, the majority of the time, simply doesn’t have to be,” Rousseau said. “They can easily be in the comfort of their own home at a much lower cost.”
BrightSpring’s home infusion business — housed under Amerita — currently spans about 20 states.
Adding Advanced Home Care’s infusion pharmacy business further propels BrightSpring into the Southeast region.
“It’s an incredibly well-run business,” Rousseau said. “We believe that it has — and this, as you know, is part of our overall strategy — a lot of synergistic touch points with home health, including who our patients and who our customers are.”
‘Three legs of the stool’
Throughout the rest of 2020, BrightSpring will continue to explore new ways to deliver on its strategic imperative of melding different services to achieve positive health outcomes.
The long-term goal is to one day be able to provide a range of routine non-medical care, day-to-day pharmacy services and intermittent clinical services in each of its markets.
“We refer to that as ‘the three legs of the stool,’” Rousseau said. “They’re services that we see as extremely necessary for high-needs, acute populations.”
Since last March, BrightSpring has taken “numerous steps” to accomplishing that goal in several markets, the CEO noted.
“And where we’ve done that, we’ve seen the results with some pretty significant reductions in hospitalization,” he said. “We are absolutely convinced that we have a suite of services that — when combined together the right way, working with the right partners — absolutely results in positive, innovative outcomes.”