Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) announced Monday that it has repurchased $73 million in stock. The move comes just a few days after Amedisys also executed a new joint venture with the UMC Health System.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys is one of the largest home health companies in the country, with more than 500 care centers in 39 states. In addition to home health, the company offers hospice and personal care services.
Toward the end of 2020, the Amedisys’ board of directors authorized up to $100 million in share repurchases through Dec. 31, 2021.
Broadly, stock repurchasing can allow a company to invest in itself or raise the value of its remaining shares. As of mid-day trading Monday, Amedisys stock was listed at $271.92 per share, more than doubling in value compared to 24 months ago.
Amedisys Chairman and CEO Paul Kusserow called this time period an “advantageous” time to buy back the company’s stock.
“Our shareholders got a great deal on this repurchase,” Kusserow said in a statement. “Given our low leverage and very strong cash flow, this repurchase has no impact on our ability to execute upon our inorganic growth strategy and will not impact our plan to deploy capital into acquisitions.”
When it comes to dealmaking, Kusserow noted that the company maintains a robust home health and hospice M&A pipeline.
“We look forward to getting a few of these deals across the finish line,” he continued.
Along these lines, Amedisys recently teamed up with the UMC Health System to launch a new home health and hospice location in Texas. The organization will operate under the name UMC Home Health and Hospice, an Amedisys partner LLC.
“UMC Health System was looking for a home care-based partner to help expand our home health influence and add a hospice service line,” Aaron Davis, chief experience officer at UMC, recently told Hospice News. “Amedisys was looking to get into the Lubbock market. UMC Health System reached out to Amedisys, and as we met and discussed this opportunity, it became clear to both organizations that we each were focused on quality patient care and serving people well.”
UMC Health System is a Lubbock, Texas-based health care organization that serves 300,000 patients annually.
Under the JV agreement, Amedisys and UMC Health System will split ownership of the new location 50/50.
This deal marks UMC Health System’s first home-based care service as an organization.
Amedisys — with its experience and resources — was an appealing partner to UMC Health System, a new player in the home-based care space. Several other health systems have similarly teamed up with home-based care experts like Amedisys during the public health emergency to shift care into the home and out of costlier, potentially riskier facility-based settings.
“This partnership will provide the new agency the opportunity to ramp up effectively and quickly,” Davis said.
On the flip side, UMC Health System’s roots in the Texas market made the company an attractive partner to Amedisys.
“The partnership combines UMC Health System’s local market reputation and Amedisys’ home care expertise and support systems,” Davis said.
Amedisys touched on the importance of partnerships during its recent Q4 earnings call. The company has been particularly proud of its nationwide personal care partnership, which it has roughly tripled in size since launching in 2019.
“Our personal care network generated approximately $3.5 million in revenue via care coordination with our home health and hospice segments for the full year 2020 — three times its start and a revenue number that we look to double in 2021,” Kusserow said during the call.