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In order to strengthen its home health division, leading home health and hospice service provider, Gentiva Health Services Inc. (GTIV - Analyst Report) formed a joint venture with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is the Winston–Salem based fully integrated medical center that conducts medical education and research, a clinical enterprise and promotes the commercialization of research discoveries.

The joint venture named Wake Forest Baptist Health Care at Home (“Care at Home”) will offer post-acute solutions to those seniors who suffer from complex health issues. These patients usually face problems in adapting with living at home after discharge from hospital. Care at Home intends to focus on this facet and assist these patients to overcome the problem. To realize this goal, the alliance targets to integrate the work of physicians and home health professionals.

We can say that Care at Home aims to deliver increased healthcare to patients so that they do not return too soon to the hospital setting after being discharged once. Its physician team comprises of nationally acclaimed geriatricians, neurologists, internists and health care providers such as nurse practitioners, pharmacists and therapists.

The healthcare industry provides ample growth opportunities at present owing to the increasing healthcare needs of the aging population and the existing rate pressures. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, being an academic medical center of great repute is expected to help Gentiva to capitalize on the opportunities and position itself as a leader in this regard.

Gentiva has primarily focused on initiatives to innovate and improve the quality of care so as to widen its arena of services, owing to which it actively engages in partnerships or acquisition of complementary companies. Last week, Gentiva entered into a merger agreement with a complementary company, Harden Healthcare Holdings Inc. pursuant to which it will acquire the latter for approximately $409 million. The acquisition is expected to enhance the Medicare exposure of Gentiva, boost its post-acute care services and shore up the long-term growth of the company.

Gentiva currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among other health service providers, Addus HomeCare Corporation (ADUS - Snapshot Report) carries a favorable Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while AmSurg Corp. (AMSG - Analyst Report) and LCA-Vision Inc. carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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