Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) Chairman and CEO Paul Kusserow has officially passed the baton.
“It’s been a life-changing journey to serve our patients and employees,” Kusserow said Thursday during the company’s fourth-quarter 2021 earnings call. “I believe the best time to transition leadership is when a company has a clear idea of where it’s going and a great strategy to get there. When it is at its peak strength — hitting on all cylinders.”
As part of a previously announced transition plan, Kusserow will step down from the role of CEO on April 15. Moving forward, Kusserow will continue to serve as chairman of the board for Amedisys.
Chris Gerard – who currently serves as president and COO – will serve as president and CEO.
Apart from the leadership transition, the Amedisys executives addressed the company’s success around employee turnover and recruitment during a “topsy-turvy” year overall.
“As health care labor markets become more challenged nationwide, Amedisys was able to drive our clinical turnover down an additional 9% from 2020 to 2021,” Kusserow said. “Additionally, to fuel our present and future growth, we increased our recruitment numbers by driving a 27% increase in recruited headcount. Recruitment, retention and turnover are continuously our biggest initiatives, as having enough clinical capacity to serve our patients in our fast-growing industries has never been more paramount.”
Along these lines, Amedisys invested in connectRN, a technology-enabled staffing platform for nurses, in December. Kusserow noted that Amedisys would continue to make investments that allow the company to “innovate and differentiate.”
Amedisys has also heavily invested in the growth of the business, including its game-changing acquisition of hospital-at-home enabler Contessa Health.
For Amedisys, having Contessa under its umbrella represents a major step towards the future.
“By acquiring Contessa, we took a meaningful step in differentiating ourselves as more than just a home health and hospice company,” Kusserow said. “The leader in its space, Contessa builds risk-bearing, tech-enabled hospital-at-home, SNF-at-home and capitated palliative platforms. It has become our platform for future innovation and new models for care delivered in the home.”
So far, Amedisys has seen continued positive momentum with Contessa. Overall, there have been 520 admissions for Contessa since the completion of the acquisition.
“Clinical management of patients admitted onto Contessa’s program continues to be a strength, evidenced by favorable MLR performance relative to expectations, as well as strong quality and satisfaction metrics,” Gerard said during the call. “From a financial perspective, during Q4, three JVs reached profitability, which proves that this model continues to be efficient and scalable in different types of markets.”
Additionally, Contessa continues to add payer sources for its high-acuity clinical models, Gerard noted.
“In the coming months, we expect a number of new health plan contracts for the hospital-at-home and SNF-at-home models — increasing total addressable patients,” Gerard said. “We continue to remain encouraged by Contessa’s robust pipeline of additional health system opportunities.”
Overall, Amedisys posted total revenue of about $559.3 million during the fourth quarter, an increase of 2% compared to $550.7 million in Q4 2020.
Looking at the full year, Amedisys posted total revenue of about $2.2 billion, a slight increase of 7% compared to $2 billion in 2020.
“The suspension of sequestration added $36 million to our revenue and gross margin for the year,” Amedisys CFO Scott Ginn said on the call.
Revenue for the home health segment checked in at $337.3 million for Q4 2021, compared to $329.4 million in Q4 2020. For the full year, the segment brought in $1.3 billion, compared to $1.2 billion in 2020.
The hospice segment brought in $204.9 million for Q4 2021, compared to $203.9 million in Q4 2020. The segment checked in at $785.3 million for the full year, compared to $750.1 million last year.
Ultimately, Amedisys’ fourth quarter 2021 performance falls in line with investors’ expectations, according to Brian Tanquilut, an equity analyst at Jefferies.
“The company’s earnings projections for this year are within range of what investors had been expecting and what is reflected in the stock,” Tanquilut said in an analyst note. “Good Q4 performance, especially in light of continued labor and COVID challenges, points to intact fundamentals that should translate to improving earnings this year.”
Joyce Famakinwa is a Chicago area native who cut her teeth as a journalist and writer covering the worker’s compensation industry and creating branded content for tech companies and startups. When she isn’t reporting the latest in home health care news, you can find her indulging in her love of vintage clothing, books, film, live music, theatre and reality tv.