Optum certainly kept this very quiet when they sold their hospice facilities to Compassus and I don’t think they even told their own investors.   I could not locate any SEC 10k filings or even a Form D from a search I did and this sale took place a year ago.   Optum is not not out of this business though, they want to manage it instead, just as they manage surgeons and physicians with Surgical Care Affiliates and OptumCare doctors.  The worst nightmare for those in hospice has come true, the thought of Optum utilization managers prowling around Compassus Hospice facilities as they intend now to use Optum Hospice Services to manage them.  The old webpage of Optum Hospice is now gone as well, and has been replaced with a page featuring “hospice services”. 

Hospice care by the algorithms is what we are looking at here with even more undue and not proven analytical scoring of patients taking place at their last days of their lives.  I think the screen from this Compasssus PowerPoint presentation on the revenue growth here tells the story of what this company’s (Compassus) goals are revenue and not patient care being the first priority.  You can see the other hospice services Compassus has acquired as well as Optum.  Their goal here is to create a model (made up of algorithmic functions) to design care for those patients in hospice services.  One might also guess that OptumRX will be the PBM of choice for these hospice facilities as well, all part of United Healthcare. 

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And here’s the management plan as you can see below with touting the Optum Partnership.  Compassus is owned by private equity firms,  Formation Capital and Audax Private Equity.  Private equity firms are currently draining the money out of nursing homes too, look at Kindred and HCR Manor (the one that Carlyle just walked away from as they couldn’t bleed it anymore).   With Kindred being purchased by Humana and two private equity firms, we can just assume that Humana is in there to make money from their Humana PBM from the drugs prescribed with the hospice services and the 2 private equity firms might be looking for any assets they can find to drain to line their own pockets, so that future there for patients and their care seems to look somewhat dim.  The real estate assets seem like they are always the first to be sold off, to leave the hospice and nursing home locations as “renters” for their facilities with high monthly payments, sometimes to another private equity firm held company that owns the properties. 

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So after private equity has finished bleeding  US retailers to the point of bankruptcy, is this is the next level, nursing homes and hospice services for the next asset drain?  It certainly is beginning to look like it.  Unlike the retailer asset bleed, this time we are dealing with people’s lives and a big potential for patient endangerment, all for the sakes of the private equity companies being able to put more money in their own pockets.

Again, one has to wonder why this was kept secret and given no press at all, and it’s only now that the facilities themselves are making the name changes that this has come to light.  I would search out a non profit for a family member for sure versus this hospice for profit group here, as that’s what hospice should be, for the patient and not come with a profit portfolio at the starting gate.  BD

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