Gentiva Health Services is a gentle giant. As one of the nation's largest home health care and hospice services firms, the company provides home nursing care through a network of about 270 agency locations in some 40 states. Gentiva's home care nurses provide services ranging from acute-care treatment to housekeeping for the elderly or disabled. Its hospice services are offered through 150 locations in 30 states. Gentiva also offers consulting services to the home care industry to help with regulatory and reimbursement issues. Acquisitive Gentiva greatly expanded its hospice operations through the purchase of Odyssey HealthCare.
The company spent about $1 billion to acquire hospice provider Odyssey in mid-2010. The deal boosted its position in the hospice industry and made Gentiva the largest combination home health and hospice care provider in the US.
The company's home health services segment accounts for more than 50% of its sales. Hospice contributes about 45%.
Gentiva Health Services (GHS) posted a 27% gain in sales in 2011 vs. 2010, buoyed by a 123% gain at its hospice operation. Home health saw its revenues decline by nearly 5%. The divestiture of 34 home health and nine hospice branches in late 2011 negatively impacted 2011 sales. Despite the double-digit sales gain GHS was unprofitable in 2011.
As a big player in the highly-fragmented health market, Gentiva has plenty of small- to-mid-size regional home health agencies from which to choose. Indeed, Gentiva's growth has primarily come from purchases of smaller providers and agencies in high-growth regions. Over the past three years Gentiva has purchased many companies, including the transformative Odyssey HealthCare acquisition in 2010. Also in 2010 it bought United Health Care Group in Louisiana and Heart to Heart Hospice in Mississippi. Indeed, the company has been particularly focused on making acquisitions in the Southeast. In 2009 Gentiva acquired five companies, including home health care companies in California, New Mexico, and Texas.
While it is focused on making Odyssey at home, figuring out its next acquisition target, and keeping its operations slim and trim, Gentiva also has to keep its eyes on the Health Care Reform Act, which includes several provisions that could adversely impact hospice providers. Also, due to budget cuts, a number of states are considering reducing or eliminating Medicaid hospice benefits. Reductions or changes in Medicare or Medicaid funding would obviously significantly reduce Gentiva's patient service revenue and profitability. Medicare contracts account for more than 75% of Gentiva's home health sales and more than 90% of its hospice sales. The company also receives reimbursement from local governments, other insurance entities, and private payers.
Wells Fargo & Co. owns about 10% of Gentiva's shares.
Gentiva Health Services was formed a decade ago when staffing firm Olsten spun off its health services unit after being acquired by Adecco. – less