There is a major deal in the works involving two local healthcare companies.
There is an agreement that would see Rochester Regional Health acquire Lifetime Care, the local home care and hospice organization.
Lifetime Care is part of Lifetime Health Care Companies, the umbrella organization which also owns Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The president and CEO of Rochester Regional Health, Dr. Eric Bieber, says the partnership would better serve patients, communities and staff.
A statement obtained by WXXI News quotes Lifetime HealthCare Companies CEO Chris Booth as saying that last year, due to the changing market, his organization got out of the Lifetime Medical Group business as local health systems now include physician practices.
And he says it’s a similar story with Lifetime Care. He says that for years, that company was the primary home care agency for patients discharged from Unity and Rochester General Hospitals. But he says these days, health systems want to provide the full continuum of care, and following the Unity-Rochester General merger, the new combined system decided it needed its own home care agency.
John Foley, Executive Vice President of strategy and business development for Rochester Regional Health says that Lifetime Care has about 1,300 employees, and Rochester Regional has its own, much smaller home care agency which now employs about 179 people, and he expects all of those staffers to remain on board when the companies merge.
Foley says one reason that his organization wants to expand into areas like home care, is because they can now offer a broader, more coordinated range of services.
“The full continuum of care where people can say I understand my data is in one place, my physicians are in one place, my care team, so now we’re talking care teams across our organization, really understands me and my health and wellness," Foley told WXXI News. He also says that there is a trend toward providing more home care services for patients.
“People prefer to have care at home, and so we’re actually trying to create the mechanism and the capabilities to deliver to that preference; so again, I think we’re seeing more and more of that preference as evidenced in the growth of homecare around the nation, not just here in New York and in Rochester," Foley said.
The various government approvals are expected to take 6 months to a year to complete. Lifetime Care serves 33,000 patients in home and home-like settings in the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.