person in bed

Amedisys President and CEO Chris Gerard told investors Monday the company’s acquisition last year of hospital-at-home firm Contessa could soon result in some surprising partnerships with large hospital systems.

“We think we are going to be announcing some broader-based joint ventures in the future that I would say were not part of our roadmap prior to the acquisition of Contessa,” Gerard said during investment bank William Blair’s 42nd Annual Growth Stock Conference.

Gerard said prior to its acquisition of Contessa, Amedisys had partnerships with smaller, rural hospitals to provide home health and hospice services. But with the ability to provide hospital-at-home through Contessa, Gerard said larger hospitals are interested in leveraging the company’s full range of services that also include home health, hospice and personal care.

“Hospitals historically aren’t good operators of home health and hospice, which is our core business,” Gerard explained. “It allows them to unload that onto us. We manage it day to day,  drive the economics and the efficiencies to where it’s a really solid relationship.” 

Baton Rouge, LA-based Amedisys acquired Nashville-based Contessa last year for $250 million. Contessa was founded in 2015 and provides hospital-at-home and SNF-at-home services in 28 states. It has relationships with several large hospital systems, including Mount Sinai Health System and the Marshfield Clinic. Amedisys operates in 38 states and the District of Columbia,

Amedisys has been on a buying binge over the last few years, striking deals totaling more than $800 million. Gerard predicted more consolidation in the highly fragmented home health and hospice industry in the next few years, but also ample opportunity for larger companies, such as Amedisys, that survive.

“Pressure is on hospital systems to push more care into the home,” Gerard said.