Tuesday, January 8, 2019

searching for hospice at a place in massachusetts, part 2

I'm passing on these because...

This earlier post described Tom and Shelly, who have asked for our advice about hospice.

They've endured nine years of aggressive treatment. Now Tom's cancer has spread from his lungs to the bones in his legs and ribs. The pain is difficult to manage. They have two small children, but also several close friends who have promised to help, because Tom wants to die at home.

"It's not right," Shelly says. "Our life together was just getting started."

I looked through a list of agencies serving their hometown, and suggested they talk to someone at Old Colony Hospice and Palliative Care

That was the most important challenge - to cut through the static and determine where to focus - "Plan A."

Let's look at the agencies I quickly eliminated - "Plan Z."

15. Child Health Systems, Inc. Looks like a contractor for pediatric and specialty care durable medical equipment (DME), and supplies. They're not relevant to our search for hospice.

None of these organizations appear in either Medicare's Hospice Compare, or the member directory at the Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts, and so weren't considered:

14. Vista Care
13. Hospice Care of Greater Taunton
12. Solamor 
11. Guardian 
10. Bayada 

9. Compassionate Care Hospice (CCH) is listed in Medicare's Hospice Comparebut isn't a member of the MA Federation.

My initial search revealed a privately-held for-profit chain with offices in 22 states. Their website is loaded with stock photos and generic information, supplemented by ways to contact various locations - three in Massachusetts, including one within our search area in Taunton.

As a privately-held for-profit company, CCH isn't required to publicly report their financial or operating information, so no transparency - a deal-breaker in my book. 

CCH promotes the Compassionate Care Hospice Foundation - a tax-exempt charity which is required to publicly file IRS Form 990 - an interesting subject for another post.

Another search yielded surprising news:

Amedisys (AMED) Announces Agreement to Acquire Compassionate Care Hospice for $340M

"Under the terms of the agreement, expected to close by February 1, 2019, Amedisys will acquire 100 percent of the ownership interests in Compassionate Care Hospice for a fixed price of $340 million, which is inclusive of $50 million in payments related to a tax asset and working capital. Amedisys, currently caring for more than 7,500 hospice patients per day in 22 states, will become the third largest hospice provider in America."

Also, too:

"The transaction adds significant new access to Amedisys’ ...nationwide network of 83 ...centers. Post-closing, the combined hospice operations will include 136 ...centers in 34 states, with an ADC of approximately 11,000 patients and approximately 5,700 hospice employees."

It will be interesting to follow this transaction. Amedisys has a presence in Massachusetts because it acquired Beacon Hospice for $125 million in 2011.

To learn more about the kind of corporate psychopathy at work in Hospice M&A, read the essential Strange Tony at Generic Hospice.

We'll continue working our way up the list in our next post, when we look at two more privately-held for-profit agencies I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, and one I'm kind of curious about.