LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG), one of the largest providers of home nursing services in the United States, recently announced a home health joint venture with North Mississippi Medical Center – Hamilton, an affiliate of North Mississippi Health Services, to provide home nursing services in Hamilton, Alabama. The primary service area of this joint venture spans six counties in Alabama, a Certificate of Need (CON) state. The estimated population of the service area is 200,000, with almost 16 percent over the age of 65. Net revenue for the Hamilton, Alabama, agency during the most recent 12 months was approximately $900,000. This joint venture is not expected to add materially to LHC Group’s earnings in 2009. LHC Group also announced that it has entered into a hospice joint venture with 89-bed Levi Hospital, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to provide hospice services in central Arkansas. LHC Group and Levi Hospital have had a home health joint venture in place since December 2005.
North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS) is a diversified regional health care organization, which serves 22 counties in north Mississippi and northwest Alabama from its headquarters in Tupelo, Mississippi. The NMHS organization covers a broad range of acute diagnostic and therapeutic services, offered through North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo; a community hospital system with locations in Eupora, Iuka, Pontotoc, West Point, Mississippi, and Hamilton, Alabama; North Mississippi Medical Clinics, a regional network of more than 30 primary and specialty clinics; and nursing homes.
“North Mississippi Medical Center – Hamilton (NMMC – Hamilton) is excited about the opportunity to work with LHC Group in providing home health services to patients in the Marion County area,” said Gerald Wages, President of NMMC – Hamilton. “NMMC – Hamilton is committed to providing high quality health care services to the residents of its service area. LHC Group has significant experience in providing home health services, and we are confident that the combination will help to enhance the availability of home health services for patients in the area.”
Keith G. Myers, Chief Executive Officer of LHC Group, added, “We are proud to be partnering with an organization with such an outstanding reputation and tradition of excellence as North Mississippi Health Services. Dan Wilford, one of our Directors, used to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of North Mississippi Medical Center. As a result, we enter this new relationship knowing we have a strong partner that shares our commitment to quality care and efficiency. Together, our organizations will provide the residents of northwest Alabama with the highest quality of home care services.”