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Amedisys buys assets of Visiting Nurse Association of LI for $4.6M

The Garden City location of the Visiting Nurse

The Garden City location of the Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island on Feb. 28, 2015. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

Amedisys Inc., a Louisiana hospice and home health care services provider, has acquired the assets of Garden City-based nonprofit Visiting Nurse Association of Long Island for $4.6 million, the company announced Thursday.

Amedisys president and chief executive Paul Kusserow said in a telephone interview that the Visiting Nurse Association will operate under Amedisys’ Tender Loving Care brand. Tender Loving Care currently has facilities in Medford and Hicksville.

The acquisition gives publicly traded Amedisys, based in Baton Rouge, access to the Brooklyn and Queens markets in addition to Nassau and Suffolk counties, Kusserow said. The Visiting Nurse Association’s tax return for 2013 showed net income of $1.8 million on total revenue of $14.9 million, but the 2014 return revealed a deficit of $1.3 million on revenue of $10.4 million.

Visiting Nurse was a federally and state certified home health agency that served up to 500 patients per day.

In February 2015, Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to release $1.6 million in Vital Access Provider funds to the association. Vital Access Provider funds supplement Medicaid funds and help financially strapped hospitals and health care facilities to remain open.

The organization filed for bankruptcy in June 2015. Kusserow said some of the assets were bought from the association, and some were bought through the bankruptcy court.

Kenneth Cerini, who runs the nonprofit practice at Bohemia-based Cerini & Associates, an accounting and consulting firm, said tight government funding and a movement toward managed care are putting health care nonprofits in a financial squeeze.

“There are plenty of government-funded nonprofits that don’t have a lot of cash reserves,” he said. “If there are delays in how you get paid, that’s going to impact cash flow.”

Kusserow said mergers and acquisitions are accelerating in the home health care industry.

“It’s a consolidating business and the government with their reimbursement cuts is speeding that process up,” he said.

Kusserow said the acquisition of the assets of Visiting Nurse Association took about a year to complete and closed on Wednesday. He said the company would be contacting former employees of the nonprofit about positions at Amedisys. In 2015, the association had about 150 employees.

Shares of Amedisys slipped 22 cents to close at $45.15 Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They are up almost 15 percent year to date.


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