GTIV

Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (GTIV)

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Gentiva Health Services, Inc. (GTIV)

Q2 2009 Earnings Call Transcript

July 30, 2009 10:00 am ET

Executives

Steve Paige – SVP, General Counsel and Secretary

Tony Strange – President and CEO

John Potapchuk – EVP, CFO and Treasurer

Analysts

Whit Mayo – Robert W. Baird

Ralph Giacobbe – Credit Suisse

Darren Lehrich – Deutsche Bank

Newton Juhng – BB&T Capital Markets

Brian Tanquilut – Jefferies

Sheryl Skolnick – CRT Capital Group

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Melissa, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Gentiva Health Services second quarter 2009 earnings conference call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded today, July 30th, 2009. It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to Steve Paige, General Counsel. Sir, you may begin your conference.

Steve Paige

Good morning, everyone. I am Steve Paige, General Counsel of Gentiva Health Services and this is Gentiva’s second quarter 2009 earnings call. Speaking on the call today are Tony Strange, Chief Executive Officer and President, and John Potapchuk, our Chief Financial Officer.

We hope that each of you had a chance to review the company’s earnings report, which we released earlier this morning. All statements made during this call relating to future results and events are forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements because of a number of risk factors and uncertainties, which are discussed in our annual and quarterly SEC filings and in the cautionary statements contained in our press release and on our website.

Our call today will be consistent with the SEC’s Regulation FD. We encourage participants to ask their questions during the call since we have certain limitations on comments that can be made in individual inquiries. Today’s call also conforms to Regulation G regarding the reconciliation of GAAP and non-GAAP disclosure. As a result, we will not discuss non-GAAP financial measures on this call except for those set forth in our press release.

You may access a replay of this call on our website for the next seven days. A transcript of the call will be posted on our site within the next 48 hours and will be available for the next 12 months. Following today’s prepared remarks, we will open the call to questions. Please limit your initial comments to one question and one follow-up so that we can accommodate as many callers as possible in the allotted time.

Let me now turn the call over to Gentiva’s CEO, Tony Strange.

Tony Strange

Thanks, Steve, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining our second quarter 2009 earnings call. As we covered in our press release this morning, Gentiva posted a strong performance for the second quarter by continuing to execute on its business plans. And as a result, we’ve raised our guidance for 2009. But before we get into the specifics on that, I’d like to talk for a few minutes about the activities in Washington that are impacting our industry today.

Over the last 90 days, the patients healthcare reform efforts has picked up considerably in Washington. Both the House and the Senate are working on bills that outline specific reimbursement changes to home health and hospice. And while I cannot and will not predict the content of these final bills, I am prepared to discuss the efforts of Gentiva and the rest of our industry leaders in shaping healthcare reform. And equally important, I want to assure you that the actions that we are taking today are consistent with Gentiva’s mission of leading the home care industry into the future.

Gentiva, along with the National Association of Home Care, the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation, and other industry leaders, is engaged in a highly organized effort to make sure the policymakers and legislators understand that home health will play a significant role in reshaping our nation’s healthcare delivery system. Home care is clinically appropriate, it’s cost-effective, and most importantly, it’s preferred by the patients.

The National Association has called upon industry leaders to garner additional resources to help deliver our message throughout Washington. The National Association of Home Care and our advisors are engaged in thoughtful and meaningful discussions with congressmen and policymakers. There are meetings on a daily basis amongst these various parties, and we’re engaged most actively with the Senate Finance Committee. The programs [ph] back and forth include potential changes to outlay reimbursement, (inaudible) on new providers, support for funds to queue demonstration projects, changes to market basket update methodology, and increase in the reimbursement for rural providers, as well as the rebasing of rates.

One of the key objectives from our industry is to meter the proportionality of the cuts as well as to affect the implementation timeline. All of these discussions demonstrate that our industry is engaged in finding a solution that threshes demand date for healthcare reform in a way that preserves the value that home care brings to our nation’s senior population.

One key tool that we’ve used in our meetings in Washington -- with Washington leaders is an independent study released in May by the Avalere Health Group. Avalere was commissioned by the Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation to perform a study on the cost effectiveness of home health using CMS’s own data. The study focused on three of the most chronic and high-cost diagnoses; congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com