CHRISTUS, LHC Group forge venture for home health, hospice in four states

December 1, 2017

The Catholic nonprofit CHRISTUS Health system and LHC Group, a publicly traded provider of health care services, started a joint venture in four states in September for home health, hospice and long-term care services.

Lafayette, La.-based LHC Group purchased majority ownership of 21 CHRISTUS Health continuum of care locations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Georgia. LHC Group now manages day-to-day operations of the facilities, which will keep their CHRISTUS names and branding.

The locations include seven home health agencies, five hospice programs, two community-based home care services, one inpatient hospice unit and six long-term acute care hospitals. Prior to the deal, LHC Group operated 311 home health service locations, 87 hospice locations, six long-term acute care hospitals and 11 community-based service locations. Community-based services provide care that is delivered to patients in their own homes or communities.

The facilities involved in the venture make up CHRISTUS Continuing Care, with the exception of CHRISTUS St. Joseph Village in Coppell, Texas, a CHRISTUS continuing care facility that is not part of this joint venture.

A newly established board of directors for the CHRISTUS Health and LHC Group joint venture has equal representation from the two organizations. The nonprofit CHRISTUS Health facilities in the joint venture have converted to for-profit facilities under the joint venture. They will follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, and the pastoral presence at the facilities will continue.

Irving, Texas-based CHRISTUS Health said LHC Group offered expertise in post-acute care, efficiencies and economies of scale. "LHC is a best-in-class home care operator," said Paul Generale via email. He is CHRISTUS Health executive vice president, chief strategy and health network officer.

"We have been very fortunate in that, unlike many health care systems and hospitals, our financial position has not deteriorated. But, that doesn't mean we can be careless," Generale said. "As we look to the future in health care, we know there are a lot of clear signs that we are looking down a difficult and uncertain path. That's why we seek to partner with companies like LHC so we can remain financially stable and continue to offer exceptional services in the communities we serve. LHC has a platform that is scalable and equipped to handle the evolving post-acute regulatory environment."

This is the fourth joint venture for CHRISTUS Health and LHC Group, with the three prior joint ventures in Northeast Texas. In the most recent joint venture, most CHRISTUS Health employees have become LHC Group employees. CHRISTUS Health said some employees in supporting roles whose jobs did not transition to LHC Group were able to apply for other CHRISTUS Health positions. Outplacement services were provided to some impacted employees. CHRISTUS Health did not provide a number of those employees.



Copyright © 2017 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.

Copyright © 2017 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.