LHC Group Expands Texas Joint Venture; Anthem Completes myNEXUS Acquisition

LHC Group announces JV expansion

LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq: LHCG) as well as partners Texas Health Resources and Methodist Health System are expanding their joint venture in Texas.

The three health care organizations announced on Thursday that they’re purchasing and sharing ownership of Regent Home Health, a provider that currently serves patients and families in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon closing, the agency will rebrand under the “DFW Home Health” name and relocate to McKinney.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled by this latest opportunity to join our partners at Texas Health Resources and Methodist Health System in expanding home health services for Dallas-Fort Worth and the Metroplex region,” LHC Group Chairman and CEO Keith Myers said in a statement. “Together, we continue fulfilling our mission to grow and reach as many people as possible with the kind of high-quality care that is increasing in both demand and importance to our overall health care system.”

The Regent deal is expected to close on June 1. At that time, the rebranded Regent will join LHC Group’s existing JV operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

DFW Home Health is a separate legal entity jointly owned by LHC Group, Texas Health Resources and North Texas Health Facilities Management Inc., a subsidiary of Methodist Health System. The provider has been in operation since 2012 and currently operates four agencies in its market.

The forthcoming expansion is just the latest example of LHC Group’s JV strategy. The Lafayette, Louisiana-based home health, hospice and personal care services provider is the main JV partner for nearly 400 U.S. hospitals and health systems.

Anthem finalizes myNEXUS purchase

The Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) has finalized its acquisition of myNEXUS, a comprehensive home-based nursing management company for payers. The transaction was initially announced toward the end of March.

Anthem and its affiliates serve more than 116 million people nationwide. Meanwhile, myNEXUS delivers integrated clinical support services for approximately 1.7 million Medicare Advantage members across 20 states.

Following the closing, myNEXUS will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anthem and join the company’s Diversified Business Group. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to combine myNEXUS’ power of digital and advanced analytics to expertly manage and coordinate home-based health care with the offerings that the Diversified Business Group brings, including a deeper set of clinical pathways and member navigation, as well as social drivers of health and behavioral health, to create truly integrated solutions,” Dr. Prakash Patel, president of Anthem’s Diversified Business Group, said in a press release. “The addition of myNEXUS fits with Anthem’s strategy to deliver whole-person care and offer a seamless end-to-end experience that will help improve outcomes, reduce readmissions and improve members’ and their family’s experience of well-being.”

myNEXUS was previously owned by WindRose Health Investor, a New York-based health care private equity firm.

“We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with myNEXUS and its management team,” Oliver Moses, managing partner of WindRose, said in a statement. “The incredible growth myNEXUS achieved over the course of our investment is a testament to the company’s ability to deliver improved clinical outcomes for home-bound patients, enable high-quality providers and improve the cost of care for its payer customers.”

Amedisys, Sound Physicians team up

Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) and Sound Physicians are teaming up to launch a new home health pilot in the Southeastern U.S.

Sounds Physicians is a physician-led partner to hospitals, health plans, post-acute care providers and others. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys and Sound Physicians are working together to launch the “Home Health Advanced Program,” anticipated to begin sometime in May.

Under the new program, Amedisys and Sound Physicians will care for Medicare fee-for-service patients who meet certain diagnoses criteria and acuity levels. The pilot will meld Amedisys’ personal care capabilities with telemedicine services through Sound Physicians, while also adding a layer of enhanced care coordination during the first two-to-three weeks of a home health episode.

“This long-anticipated innovation will further prove the value of care in the home for higher-acuity patients and caregivers,” Amedisys Chairman and CEO Paul Kusserow said in a statement. “The combination of the highest-quality home health care in the industry and coordinated personal care support to help patients and caregivers with activities of daily living is the key to future innovations like these and has enormous implications for the future of health care.”

Patients who receive services through the Home Health Advanced Program will experience no additional costs.

Medical Mutual, WellBe eye new markets

Medical Mutual and WellBe Senior Medical are launching a new home-based medical care program in both Cleveland and Columbus. The launch will bring WellBe’s in-home care services to thousands of additional patients in Ohio.

WellBe Senior Medical is a physician-led medical group that provides specialized care in the home setting to individuals with multiple chronic conditions. Medical Mutual is the oldest and one of the largest health insurance companies based in Ohio.

“Being able to provide a way for Medical Mutual members to access in-home care is an important step to help vulnerable patients facing serious illness take control of their health,” Dr. Jeff Kang, CEO and founder of WellBe Senior Medical, said in a press release. “WellBe’s team-based approach to in-home medical care brings geriatric care to the patient, rather than the patient going to where care is delivered.”

Eden Health takes over hospital’s home health services

Eden Health — the home services division of the Vancouver, Washington-based EmpRes Healthcare Management LLC — has reportedly acquired the Whidbey Island Hospital District’s home health program.

According to local news outlet the Whidbey News-Times, the transaction is a way for Whidbey Island Hospital District — also known as “WhidbeyHealth” — to cut costs. Eden Health plans to admit the hospital’s current patients and hire hospital employees who work in the home health department.

Unique for a home health provider, Eden is an employee-owned business.

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