Odyssey HealthCare provides comfort for patients in the final stages of life's journey. One of the nation's largest hospice care providers, Odyssey HealthCare operates about 100 for-profit hospice programs nationwide. The group offers a full range of hospice care services, including pain and symptom management, medical social services, personal care, spiritual support and counseling, and daily living assistance. Caregivers consist of registered nurses, physicians, home healthcare aides, social workers, and bereavement counselors, among others. It serves patients in their homes or in hospitals and nursing facilities; it also operates inpatient hospice facilities. Gentiva Health Services owns Odyssey HealthCare.
Change in Company Type
Gentiva purchased Odyssey HealthCare for some $1 billion in 2010. Soon after, its operations were merged with Gentiva's, making Gentiva one of the largest hospice providers in the US.
Odyssey HealthCare operates primarily in Gentiva's complementary Southeastern US region. The hospice firm serves some 14,000 clients per day in 33 states.
Odyssey HealthCare depends on Medicare for the vast majority of its revenue (almost 100%), making it sensitive to alterations in government reimbursement schedules. It also relies on doctors, nursing homes, and other health care providers for referrals of patients in need of hospice care; its marketing efforts, as a result, are focused on maintaining strong relationships with those referral sources and educating them about hospice care and the services the company provides.
The hospice care industry is very competitive and fragmented; the company competes with not-for-profit and charity-funded hospice programs that might have stronger ties to their local medical communities and with for-profit programs that might have greater financial and marketing resources than Odyssey HealthCare has, though the Gentiva helps with that.
Sales and Marketing
Odyssey HealthCare competes with hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, home health agencies and other health care providers that offer similar services, so Odyssey HealthCare has to stay on its toes by creating strong marketing campaigns, forming sound local relationships, and successfully recruiting physicians for referrals.
Odyssey, which was formed in 1996 with a single hospice program, has an acquisition plan that has allowed it to grow over the years. Its acquisitions are largely focused on local hospices and, to a lesser extent, starting up its own programs in new communities. – less