Gentiva sees reimbursement cuts eating into 2013 profit

March 20 Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:25am EDT

March 20 (Reuters) - Home healthcare provider Gentiva Health Services Inc forecast 2013 earnings well below analysts' expectations, citing changes in Medicare reimbursement rates and budget cuts.

Gentiva, which operates in the home health and hospice segment, said it expects the changes to reduce its adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 60 cents per share and its net revenue by about $30 million.

The company now expects 2013 adjusted earnings from continuing operations between 90 cents and $1.10 per share on net revenue of $1.69 billion to $1.73 billion.

Analysts on average expected earnings of $1.26 per share on revenue of $1.72 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

President Barack Obama's healthcare law imposes reimbursement cuts on the home healthcare industry. Companies such as Amedisys Inc, Almost Family Inc and LHC Group Inc have struggled to offset the impact of changes in Medicare reimbursement rates.

"Against another difficult reimbursement year, our focus in 2013 is squarely on continuing to drive strong mid-single digit home health growth and on returning our hospice division to consistent growth to offset the impact of these cuts," Chief Executive Tony Strange said in a statement.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for the elderly and disabled.

Gentiva's shares were down 1 percent at $12.51 in premarket trading on Wednesday morning.

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