Chris Gerard, Amedisys
Chris Gerard, Amedisys

Amedisys disclosed late Thursday Christopher Gerard is leaving the company as CEO of the Baton Rouge, LA- based home care and hospice firm, effective immediately. Board chairman and former CEO Paul Kusserow will step back in to lead the company until a new CEO is named. Kusserow retired in April, after serving as CEO for eight years.

Paul Kusserow, Amedisys CEO
Paul Kusserow

“I am looking forward to returning as CEO and building on the excellent foundation we have at Amedisys,” Kusserow said in a statement. “We are going to continue to build upon the foundation that has made Amedisys the best home health company in the industry — all driven by our extraordinary group of caregivers and our relentless focus on providing the best care for our patients.”

Gerard joined Amedisys in 2016 as chief operating office from Kindred at Home and assumed the CEO post last April. His short tenure at the top of Amedisys has been rocky with two disappointing quarters. In the most recent quarter, the company earned $1.15 a diluted share on $558.5 million in revenues. During the same period a year earlier, it earned $1.53 a share on $553.5 million in revenues. Wall Street forecast Amedisys would earn $1.22 a share in the third quarter on 579.3 million in revenues.

The company has faced strong headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic, but Gerard expressed optimism Amedisys was on the right track during an earnings call with analysts a few weeks ago. He pointed to a new case rate arrangement with Aetna Medicare Advantage plans and a new partnership between hospital-at-home unit Contessa and the University of Arkansas for Medical Science as tailwinds for Amedisys in 2023.

Amedisys’ board of directors expressed confidence Kusserow can move the company forward.

“We are confident that under Paul’s leadership, Amedisys will continue to have a future of profitable growth, innovation, top quality and consistent performance,”  Lead Independent Director Julie Klapstein said in a statement. “Paul’s growth and innovative mindset is a critical and stabilizing force to the Company. His experience, along with his passion, make us confident that this will serve Amedisys well during this time.”

Pennant Group this week also disclosed it is partly reorganizing its leadership team.