LHC Group, University Health Care System Announce New JV Agreement

LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) has added another joint venture partner into its fold. 

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based home health, hospice and personal care services provider announced Thursday it has signed a definitive agreement to form a new JV with University Health Care System, one of the largest, most comprehensive health care organizations in Georgia.

University Health Care System is anchored by University Hospital, an 812-bed nonprofit acute care hospital serving Georgia’s Augusta-Richmond County and the surrounding region. The health system has three hospitals overall, with ancillary services ranging from home health and rehab, to primary care and specialty physician services.

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LHC Group and its 32,000 employees care for patients in 35 states and Washington, D.C., reaching 60% of the U.S. population 65 and older. Teaming up with entities like University Health Care System is a core part of LHC Group’s strategy, as it is currently the preferred in-home health care partner for 350 hospitals around the country.

The newly announced JV will operate across eight cities in Georgia and South Carolina.

It will include 10 total locations: three University Health home health providers, three University Health home health branches, two LHC Group home health providers and two LHC Group hospice providers.

“We are pleased to join our new partners at University Health in announcing plans to expand the availability of vital health care services in the states of Georgia and South Carolina,” Keith Myers, LHC Group’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “With our combined experience and infrastructure, we will be able to offer more families and patients the high-quality, efficient, and effective in-home healthcare and hospice services they deserve.”

It is anticipated that the joint venture agreement will be finalized on Oct. 1, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing, LHC Group will purchase majority ownership and assume management responsibility of the JV.

LHC Group expects incremental annualized revenue from the joint venture of about $8.3 million.

“This partnership combines the expertise and experience of two high-quality medical providers, creating new opportunities to further develop and expand our in-home health care services to include hospice, completing University’s continuum of care,” James Davis, University Health Care System’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The great success LHC Group has demonstrated with other partnerships has shown us that their focus on in-home medical services will move the safe, quality and compassionate care University is known for to the next level.”

While LHC Group has long invested in its JV strategy, it has seen even more interest in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company.

Apart from Thursday’s announcement, LHC Group’s most recent JV move was its partnership with Orlando Health System in Florida.

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