One of the largest home care franchises in the country is teaming up with one of the nation’s largest home health providers.
Chicago-based BrightStar Care signed a care coordination agreement with Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED), adding BrightStar’s agencies to Amedisys’ personal care network.
The personal care network’s goal is to facilitate care coordination between Amedisys’ home health and hospice centers and the personal care providers it partners with.
The agreement with BrightStar expands Amedisys’ personal care network to 1,211 partner agencies in 39 states. The network helps the company manage chronically ill patients’ activities of daily living, which, in turn, drives down hospital admissions and lowers cost of care.
The relationship will be piloted with care centers in Pennsylvania and Texas. If all goes well, the plan is to expand the footprint of the relationship.
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that America’s seniors need quality care in the home more than ever before to stay safe and feel supported,” Amedisys CEO Paul Kusserow said in a press release announcing the news. “I’m delighted to welcome the incredible BrightStar Care caregivers as care coordination partners in expanding access to a much-needed continuum of care that improves patient outcomes and lowers costs.”
Amedisys has 526 care centers in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Its home health operating income for Q2 was nearly $50 million. It also provides personal care services, but that offering makes up a much smaller slice of its business.
Meanwhile, BrightStar Care has 340 personal care locations in 38 states, reaching about 75% of the U.S. population. The two company’s footprints overlap significantly, the release said.
Amedisys’ personal care network dates back to 2019, when the provider partnered with the home care software company ClearCare Inc. on the project as a means to expand its reach and capabilities in the home. It was also a way to open the door for Medicare Advantage (MA) opportunities, Kusserow said at the 2019 Home Health Care News Summit in Chicago.
These partnerships allow Amedisys to enter the personal care arena without acquiring personal care companies. Those deals have presented challenges for the company in the past, Kusserow said.
The news comes on the heels of an already big year for BrightStar, which has expanded its personal care and senior living footprint, as well as built an effective and massive PPE pipeline for its franchisees during the height of COVID-19.
“We’re excited to partner with Amedisys to bring to life our shared vision of re-imagining healthcare. Together, we strive to help Americans age in place safely, while improving the care experience and patient outcomes through the entirety of their home care journey,” BrightStar Care CEO and Founder Shelly Sun said in the press release. “We’re both passionate about delivering the highest standard of care, and BrightStar Care is uniquely positioned to provide Amedisys a personal care network that meets these high standards.”