SSM Health entered a deal to sell home health and hospice agencies to a joint venture that includes LHC Group, the health system said Thursday.
The agencies, located in in Jefferson City and Mexico, are affiliated with hospitals Catholic-sponsored SSM is in the process of selling to University of Missouri Health Care in a deal announced in August. The home health and hospice operations were originally slated to be included in that deal.
Now, LHC Group, which delivers in-home care for 350 hospitals around the country, and Capital Region Medical Center, a 100-bed hospital in Jefferson City, have signed an agreement to form a joint venture that will buy SSM's home health and hospice operations in Mexico and Jefferson City. Once the deal is complete, the operations will be renamed Central Missouri Home Health and Central Missouri Hospice.
Josh Proffitt, LHC Group's chief financial officer, said LHC has been providing home health services for Capital Region since August, and Capital Region has been affiliated with MU Health Care since 1997.
"Once (SSM) learned of all the connectively and our expertise and hospital partnerships model, it evolved into us, through our JV with Capital Region, acquiring the home health and hospice," he said.
The groups expect the deal to close June 1. They did not share financial terms.
LHC Group wrote that it expects to draw about $5 million in annual revenue from its majority stake in the venture.
The home health and hospice operations in Mexico and Jefferson City currently provide care to about 250 patients, and Proffitt said he hopes the partnership will grow that. The agencies employ about 50 people, and Proffitt said he plans to keep all of them.
"If anything, we plan to grow," he said, adding that when LHC partners with hospitals, it brings back-office support, human resources, training and performance improvement services.
SSM spokesman Brian Westrich declined to say when St. Louis-based SSM expects to close on the sale of its two hospitals to MU Health Care, but he said talks are continuing to progress.
"At SSM Health, it is our responsibility to ensure the continued sustainability of quality healthcare in all of the communities we serve," he wrote in an email. "Talks are continuing to progress with MU Health Care regarding additional partnership opportunities including the potential transfer of ownership of our ministries in Mid-Missouri."