National home care and hospice provider LHC Group sees nothing but tailwinds ahead, despite ongoing uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman and CEO Keith Myers told analysts during an earnings call Thursday that his company is “beginning a new period of unprecedented opportunity,” citing the extension of sequestration, innovative Medicaid waiver policies, possible telehealth expansion, the Biden administration’s plan to direct $400 billion into home- and community-based services (HCBS) and other policies friendly to HCBS.
“We are particularly encouraged by the administration, the House and the Senate’s focus to improve coordination of the traditional Medicare home health benefit with Medicaid in-home services,” Myers said.
Choose Home momentum
Myers also said congressional support is building for “Choose Home,” a proposal that would provide Medicare coverage of in-home care as an alternative to skilled nursing. He expected a “Choose Home” bill would be introduced later this year.
On Wednesday, LHC Group reported first quarter earnings of $1.39 per diluted share on revenues of $524.8 million, a marked improvement over the same quarter the previous year.
LHC Group provides in-home healthcare, personal care and hospice services in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Myers said the company plans to add up to $150 million in revenues this year through acquisitions. The company’s primary focus will be acquiring hospice agencies in regions where LHC Group already has a heavy home healthcare presence.
But Myers admitted LHC Group’s acquisition strategy could change depending on how the proposed $400 billion in HCBS funding will be spent. He said if much of that money goes towards expanding Medicaid in-home services, the company might pivot and beef up its personal care business.
“We’re keeping a close eye on it and if there is opportunity there and the risk profile is good for us, we’ll move in that direction,” Myers said.