Epic Health puts all eyes on enteral

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

DALLAS – Epic Health Services entered the HME market in a big way in September when it acquired Option 1 Healthcare Solutions and added enteral therapy.

“About 90% of our children are actually receiving enteral therapy so it’s a natural fit to partner with Option 1,” said Chris Roussos, Epic Health president and CEO. “We thought about how we could deliver a more (complete) service and become a more valued provider for the family, and bring together multiple services to ease the coordination of care.”

The twelve-year-old Epic Health provides private duty nursing, about 95% of which is for medically fragile children. With its acquisition of Option 1, the company now serves 26,000 patients in 15 states, and employs 14,000 people.

Yes, 14,000.

“Some of our patients will get a few hours of care a day, but others need 50, 70, 168 hours of care a week,” said Roussos. “With the nature and acuity of these children, we have to have back ups on top of back ups. If we don’t show up, it’s more than just an inconvenience; these kids return to the hospitals, or have negative clinical outcomes.”

That same commitment to service will apply to enteral services, he said—no shipping of supplies or dropping them off on the doorstep.

An added benefit: Epic Health already has nurses in the home, said Roussos. 

“We’ve got eyes at the bedside to work now with our enteral team, as well as the family,” he said.

Option 1 will operate as a subsidiary of Epic Health. The deal is just the start of a period of planned growth, said Roussos, who is looking to expand organically and through acquisitions—all with a focus on the booming pediatric healthcare market. He estimates nearly doubling his patient population in the next few years and anticipates hitting $1 billion in revenues during that same time period.

Epic Health is well positioned in the current healthcare environment of cutting costs, Roussos said.

“A child in a NICU will cost between $3,000 and $5,000, compared to between $500 and $1,000 in the home,” he said. “When you think about health policy or the Affordable Care Act, it’s consistent. We are effectively setting up a step down: very effective care in the home at about 20% of the daily cost.”