What’s going on with the recent flurry of acquisitions and divestment in the Hospice industry. IP4P asked HIT-industry veteran Barbara Duck (@MedicalQuack) to weigh in:
“Optum certainly kept this very quiet when they sold their hospice facilities to Compassus; however, they are not out of the business, they want to manage it instead, just as they manage surgeons and physicians with Surgical Care Affiliates and OptumCare doctors. The worst nightmare for those in hospice has come true, the thought of Optum utilization managers running around Compassus Hospice facilities as they intend now to use Optum Hospice Services to manage them. Hospice care by the algorithms is what we are looking at here with even more undue and not proven analytical scoring of patients taking place at their last days of their lives. I think the screen from the PowerPoint presentation on the revenue growth here tells the story of what this company’s (Compassus) goals are, revenue and not patient care being the first priority.
And here’s the management plan.
Compassus is owned by private equity firms. Private equity firms are currently draining the money out of nursing homes too, look at Kindred and HCR Manor (the one that Carlyle just walked away from as they couldn’t bleed it anymore). With Kindred being purchased by Humana and two private equity firms, we can just assume that Humana is in there to make money from their Humana PBM from the drugs prescribed with the hospice services and the 2 private equity firms will probably look for any assets they can find to drain to line their own pockets, so that future there for patients seems to look somewhat dim.
So after private equity has finished bleeding retailers to the point of bankruptcy, is this is the next level, nursing homes and hospice services for the next asset drain? It certainly is beginning to look like it. Unlike the retailer asset bleed, this time we are dealing with people’s lives and a big potential for patient endangerment, all for the sake of the private equity companies being able to put more money in their own pockets”