The Top 10 Home Health Care News Stories Of 2023

In the first year that truly felt “post-COVID,” home-based care providers did not see a shortage of challenges.

Instead, in 2023, home health providers saw another year defined by payment struggles, with both the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

Home care providers, meanwhile, were still grappling with high billing rates on the private-pay side. On the Medicaid side, home- and community-based services providers dealt with some rosy rate increases, but also some regulatory concern with a proposed wage mandate provision from CMS.


But, in a year that had a historically low M&A volume, home-based care transactions grabbed the headlines more than ever.

Reflect back on this year in home-based care by revisiting 10 of HHCN’s most widely read stories.

1. Optum Lures Amedisys Away From Option Care Health With $3.3B All-Cash Deal (June 26)


The sale of Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) – one of the largest home health providers in the country – is still pending. But the saga grabbed many of the top headlines on HHCN in 2023.

First, Option Care Health (Nasdaq: OPCH) agreed to acquire the provider, in hopes that it could create an “end-to-end” continuum in the home. Ultimately, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum lured Amedisys away with an all-cash deal.

2. $5.4 Billion LHC Group-Optum Deal Closes (Feb. 22)

Optum’s acquisition of LHC Group – another one of the largest home health providers in the country – was one of the top stories in 2022. It remained a top story in 2023, however, as the deal closed in February.

If Optum is able to finalize its deal with Amedisys, it will own about 10% of the home health market.

3. Rumors Swirl Around Potential Cigna Group-Humana Combination (Nov. 28)

This top story was all for naught. Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) and Cigna Group (NYSE: CI) were in talks to combine, but eventually could not agree on a fair price.

Humana was also linked to Walmart (NYSE: WMT), but it’s unclear if those talks have advanced.

In the end, if Humana – which owns CenterWell Home Health, another one of the largest home health providers – is acquired, it is sure to be one of the biggest home-based care stories of 2024.

4. CMS Finalizes 0.8% Home Health Payment Increase For 2024, Additional PDGM Cuts (Nov. 1)

CMS first proposed a 2.2% decrease to home health payments for CY 2024 in June, but ultimately ended up finalizing a meager 0.8% bump to aggregate payments.

Providers remain unhappy with CMS’ rate cuts, which were still included in the final rule despite the pay bump.

“Immediately, you feel a little sigh of relief as an operator just because we were expecting the full proposed cut,” Healing Hands Healthcare CEO Summer Napier said of the rule. “But then the further you read, you’re like, ‘This is trash. I’m not going to accept this for 2025 and beyond. It’s not happening.’”

5. Humana’s CenterWell To Acquire Trilogy Home Health (April 24)

CenterWell Home Health acquired the Florida-based Trilogy Home Health in April in what was one of the first big splashes the provider made under Humana ownership.

HHCN had the exclusive on the deal, which added 11 locations to CenterWell’s home health portfolio.

6. Details Emerge Around Home Health Titan April Anthony’s New Venture, VitalCaring (Feb. 2)

April Anthony, formerly the CEO of Encompass Health’s (NYSE: EHC) home health and hospice arm, was not away from the industry for long.

Early in the year, details finally emerged around her new venture, VitalCaring, which is funded by Anthony, The Vistria Group and Nautic Partners.

The home health and hospice company has grown significantly in its first year.

7. The Potentially Dire Long-Term Impact Of Home Health Agency Closures (Jan. 17)

The amount of home health agencies has slowly declined over the last decade.

In recent years, agencies have closed due to rate cuts and MA penetration. This article detailed some of those stories, and also explained the significance of those closures.

8. Honor Lays Off 15% Of HQ Staff, Including Long-Time Home Instead Employees (June 27)

In June, Honor – the home care technology company that owns Home Instead – announced that it would be laying off 15% of its HQ staff, which included many longtime Home Instead employees.

9. CD&R-Backed Gentiva Agrees To Acquire ProMedica’s Home Care, Hospice Assets For $710M (Feb. 27)

When Humana acquired Kindred at Home to create CenterWell Home Health, it divested the home care and hospice assets. Those assets turned into Gentiva.

Gentiva – which has made palliative care a major focus – made its first big splash with the $710 million acquisition of ProMedica’s home care and hospice assets.

10. New CMS Dementia Care Model Opens Doors Of Opportunity For Home-Based Care Providers (Jul. 31)

CMS announced a new dementia care model this year – the GUIDE Model – which excited home care providers across the country.

Over the next decade, providers will have the chance to be paid by the government to help care for dementia patients across the country.

Companies featured in this article:

, , , , , , , ,