Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is a large Midwest hospital chain that suddenly announced it is selling its home health and hospice care programs to another company. This move has raised some eyebrows within the business industry, especially considering the anticipated growth of in-home healthcare for the next decade or more.
These programs are being sold to JourneyCare, which is a hospice and palliative care company based out of Glenview. The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but it will provide JourneyCare an opportunity to expand its offerings and reach throughout a number of counties, including DuPage, Kane, and DeKalb.
In recent years, JourneyCare enjoyed what was often described as “strategic partnerships” with Northwestern Memorial Hospital as well as Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and Centegra Health System. Centegra became part of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare last year.
As the demand for in-home healthcare services has increased, some business analysts have wondered why Northwestern would make this move. The home health care market was recently valued at about $300 billion, according to some estimates. It is the number one job creator and is anticipated to remain that way for the next several years.
As noted by Crain’s Chicago Business journal, in its blog, Northwestern sheds home health, hospice business, written Stephanie Goldberg:
“It’s not clear why Northwestern decided to sell its home health and hospice programs. A Northwestern representative declined to comment.
All Northwestern home health and hospice program employees were offered positions within JourneyCare as part of the deal, JourneyCare spokeswoman Lisa M. Cox said.
The demand for home-based health care services is expected to increase as the population gets older, more people are diagnosed with chronic conditions, and patients continue to choose in-home care over costly alternatives like skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.”
JourneyCare provides not only hospice care services, but also palliative and now home health care support. This acquisition will expand its offerings to communities throughout the above-mentioned communities and counties.
It is unclear when details about this business deal will be made public, but the fact that such a large medical group such as Northwestern has decided to step away from its home health care services will have some analysts continuing to wonder for months and possibly years into the future.
For those who have been receiving in-home health care or hospice services from Northwestern Memorial HealthCare to date, they should not experience a break in services as the transfer of these programs takes place.