May was another roller coaster month for the U.S. stock market – and once again, home health and post-acute care stocks went along for the ride. But with the release last week of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed home health rule, industry experts are concerned the bumpiest road may yet be ahead.
“Home health and post-acute providers have experienced unimaginable highs and lows over the past few years,” said Brian Bruenderman, Managing Partner of national healthcare mergers and acquisitions firm Stoneridge Partners. “They took on the challenges of providing home-based care throughout the pandemic and grew exponentially as patients sought out their services in record numbers. Once the pandemic finally began to subside, soaring growth was tempered by staffing issues and skyrocketing inflation. Now CMS’ proposed rate cuts poses a significant threat to the industry – and may be the final straw for smaller providers who have struggled through the last three years.”
The proposed rule – which is not final – seeks a 4.2% rate cut compared with 2022. It includes a 7.69% budget neutrality adjustment, linked to what CMS reports as changes to provider behavior under PDGM, and just a 2.9% inflation update, which industry advocacy groups argue is far from adequate in the face of double-digit inflationary increases. Overall, this drives the rate outlook down a combined 6.9% in 2023.
“With significantly rising costs for staff, transportation, and more, home health agencies across the country cannot withstand the impact of the proposed rate cut,” said William A. Dombi, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), in a statement. “We will be taking all steps to protect the home health benefit as this proposed rule advances and have fully prepared for congressional action and more.”
May’s Home Health Index
The two companies comprising the Stoneridge HHI went in different directions in May, with LHC Group (Nasdaq: LHCG) stocks up slightly month-over-month while Amedisys stocks fell by about 10% (Nasdaq: AMED). As a result, the HHI was down nearly 4% in May – in contrast, the S&P 500 ended the month up by almost half a percent after veering briefly into bear-market territory mid-month.
Amedisys continues to work through its acquisition of in-home, high-acuity care provider Contessa Health, which industry leaders — including those at Amedisys — knew would be a near-term drag. Still, recent comments indicate the company remains bullish on Contessa’s role as a core part of its business moving forward.
“We think we’ll be announcing some broader-based joint ventures in the very near future that I would say were not part of our roadmap prior to the acquisition of Contessa,” Amedisys CEO Chris Gerard said recently at William Blair’s 42nd Annual Growth Stock Conference.
Post-Acute Care Index
May was also a mixed bag for the companies tracked by the Stoneridge PAI.
Stock values for both Addus HomeCare Corporation (Nasdaq: ADUS) and Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) fell in May, while The Pennant Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PNTG) was up by nearly 17% month-over-month.
All three companies are down since the onset of 2022. But there’s hope on the horizon thanks to evidence that some of the recent staffing woes plaguing the sector may be abating.
“We saw record kinds of hiring numbers on our personal care side in March and April,” Addus CFO Brian Poff said recently at the Jefferies Healthcare Conference. “We’ve been encouraged [with the labor market] recently. I think some of the government programs that have been out there that kept a lot of those folks on the sidelines, so to speak, have started to drop off. Because of that, we’ve tended to see applicant numbers increase.”
Quote of the Month
“Recognizing that they may need assistance as they get older does not mean that adults 50-plus have really thought about how they will live independently.” – AARP researcher Teresa Keenan
Read the Full Article Here: Payment Uncertainty Remains an Obstacle Between Seniors, At-Home Care Providers
Articles Featuring Stoneridge
Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce that our Managing Partner Benjamin Bogan served as exclusive advisor to Hope Nursing Home Care in its successful by Community Based Care, LLC.
Visit the Speaker Series Webinar Library on our website to watch our most recent Speaker Series discussing how to avoid common pitfalls when selling your healthcare business.
See It To Believe It!
The Stoneridge Partners Home Health Index (HH Index) is updated monthly and measures the performance of these two publicly traded home health companies, all listed on the NASDAQ:
- LHC Group (LHCG)
- Amedisys (AMED)
Here are the results of the stock prices for the past two years:
||1 mos change
Although we track the performance of Addus, they are not included in our HH Index because very little of their revenue comes from Medicare.
Enterprise Value (EV)
|EV (in M)
|HH Index Total
Enterprise Value (EV), aka Selling Price, as Percent of Revenue
|HH Index Average*
The Stoneridge Partners Post-Acute Care Index is updated monthly and measures the performance of these six publicly traded post-acute care companies, all listed on the NASDAQ:
- LHC Group (LHCG)
- Amedisys (AMED)
- Addus (ADUS)
- The Pennant Group, Inc. (PNTG)
- Encompass Health (EHC)
- Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (BKD)
This graph displays Post-Acute Care Index performance starting late 2019.
The above calculations are based on selling price being defined as Enterprise Value (EV), with data provided by Capital IQ. Enterprise value is defined as market cap plus debt, minority interest and preferred shares, minus total cash and cash equivalents. EBITDA is calculated using methodology which may differ from that used by a company for its reporting. (Home Health Index June 2022 | Stoneridge Partners)
Recent Transactions From Around The Country
- SCAN Group acquired an organization that delivers home healthcare services to seniors
- Trinity Health at Home acquired Iowa-based Above & Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice
- Agape Care Group acquired Hospice of the Carolina Foothills
- 24 Hour Home Care acquired Trusted Life Care, a home care agency that provides personal care for seniors in the Orange and Los Angeles counties
- The Pennant Group, Inc. acquired First Choice Home Health, a home health and personal care services provider in Montana
- HouseWorks acquired Greater Boston Home Health Care Services, Inc., a homecare provider in Eastern Massachusetts
SOLD!!! By Stoneridge
- Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce that our Managing Partner Benjamin Bogan served as exclusive advisor to Hope Nursing Home Care in its successful acquisition by Community Based Care, LLC
- Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce the successful sale of a home health agency in Tennessee
- Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce the successful sale of a home care agency in Florida
- Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce the successful sale of a personal assistance/companion care agency in Florida
- Stoneridge Partners is proud to announce the successful sale of a home health agency in Arizona
View all of our closed transactions on our website
Home Health Index May 2022 | Stoneridge Partners
From Brian Bruenderman, Publisher of “Home Health Index.” Brian can be reached at [email protected] or (239) 561-0826, and toll-free at 800-218-3944. Previous editions of this monthly newsletter can be searched for at the bottom of the home page of the Home Health Index. Links to Google Finance: Amedisys | LHC Group