Companies in this industry provide a range of skilled nursing and other health care services, as well as personal care services, to patients in their homes. Major companies include AMEDISYS, Apria Healthcare Group, Gentiva Health Services (part of Kindred Healthcare), and Lincare Holdings (all based in the US), along with Allied Healthcare (UK), LVL Médical Groupe (France), and Saint Elizabeth Health Care (Canada).
Expenditures on home health services vary significantly from country to country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Most European countries spend between 1% and 5% of their health care budget on home health care services. (In the US, home health care accounts for 3% of health care expenditures, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.) Funding sources include private pay, taxation (in those countries with nationalized health care systems), compulsory or voluntary insurance, and charitable contributions or funding from nongovernmental organizations.
The US home health care industry includes about 30,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $76 billion.
Demographics, developments in portable medical technologies, and patients' preference for in-home care are driving growth in home care services. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing, efficient operations, and reputation. Large companies have some economies of scale in sales and marketing, purchasing, and human resources administration. Small companies can compete successfully by serving a local market. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest companies account...