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Amedisys President and CEO Chris Gerard used the company’s disappointing second quarter earnings to blast Medicare’s proposed 7.69% home health payment cut.

The Baton Rouge, LA-based home care giant reported earnings per diluted share of $1.47 on revenues of $557.9 million for the second three months of the year. That compares to $1.69 a share on revenues of $564.2 million during the same period last year. 

Gerard said the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic battered every line of its business during the quarter in an environment the company has never before encountered. With that in mind, the executive said Amedisys would aggressively press the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to walk back the proposed 2023 rule.

“In the coming weeks and months, we will continue working with our bipartisan congressional supporters to align reimbursement with the congressional intent of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the actual impacts to the industry over the past two years,” Gerard said in a statement. “We, and the industry, are urging CMS to provide data and clarity on how they calculated and formulated the proposed rule which will allow us to better understand the proposed rule and respond with formal comments.”

In its earnings release, the company said that the pandemic continues to make it difficult to forecast growth and costs due to the evolution of the virus. For that reason, Amedisys amended its revenue guidance from a high of $2.365 billion to $2.30 billion for the year.

Amedisys is among the first of the large home care and hospice firms to report earnings for what could be a difficult second quarter. Last week, Aveanna sounded a warning bell that it expected weaker-than-expected quarterly earnings.

The home health industry has been forcefully challenging the proposed home health rule since CMS announced it last month. Earlier this week, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would delay CMS from executing the cut until 2026.