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Geisinger to sell home health unit to national provider

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A national in-home health care provider is purchasing majority ownership of Geisinger Health System's home health unit, which is facing a swiftly changing industry.

Montour County-based Geisinger Health System is expected to sell majority ownership of Geisinger Home Health and Hospice to LHC Group Inc. in April.

The joint venture would give LHC Group, a home health and hospice provider with facilities in 36 states, management responsibility for eight locations in Pennsylvania, including one in East Pennsboro Township.

Home health providers in Pennsylvania have come to terms with a number of industry challenges, including changes in payments and Medicare, as well as gaps in their workforce despite the state being the fifth-largest employer of home health aides.

Geisinger Home Health and Hospice has seen the issues firsthand, according to Alysha Davis, media relations manager at Geisinger, who said that the partnership with Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group will allow it to tap into LHC Group’s experience with 340 hospitals across the country.

“LHC has a proven history of successfully integrating with health systems like Geisinger, and we are confident our joint venture will enable us to continue to bring quality home health and hospice care to even more people in the communities we serve,” Davis said.

Geisinger Health System includes 13 hospital campuses and employs nearly 32,000 people.

Geisinger Home Health and Hospice also has locations in Montour, Columbia, Lycoming, Luzerne, Northumberland, Mifflin and Union counties. As a part of the deal, LHC Group will also purchase a majority ownership in New Jersey-based AtlantiCare Home Health and Hospice, also owned by Geisinger.

Davis said that Geisinger’s home health unit experienced operational losses that contributed to the sale, but specific numbers were not immediately available.

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Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis

Ioannis Pashakis covers health care and Lancaster County. Email him at ipashakis@cpbj.com.

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