Amedisys Inc. terminates president and CEO, effective immediately

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Amedisys Inc. has announced that its president and CEO, Chris Gerard, will leave the company. That move is effective immediately.

Current Chairman Paul Kusserow will take back over the CEO role until a replacement is hired. Kusserow was the longtime CEO of Amedisys, serving in that seat for seven years prior to Gerard taking over earlier this year.

“We are confident that under Paul’s leadership, Amedisys will continue to have a future of profitable growth, innovation, top quality and consistent performance,” Julie D. Klapstein, the lead independent director of Amedisys, said in a press release. “Paul’s growth and innovative mindset is a critical and stabilizing force to the company. His experience, along with his passion, make us confident that this will serve Amedisys well during this time.”

The company said its search for the next CEO of Amedisys would begin immediately. Gerard was “terminated without cause,” according to a filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

“I am looking forward to returning as CEO and building on the excellent foundation we have at Amedisys,” Kusserow said in the press release. “We are going to continue to build upon the foundation that has made Amedisys the best home health company in the industry – all driven by our extraordinary group of caregivers and our relentless focus on providing the best care for our patients.”

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys provides home health, hospice and personal care services in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Overall, it has 21,000 employees and 567 care centers within its network.

Gerard initially took over the top job at Amedisys – one of the largest home health companies in the country – in April. Kusserow had initially announced he was stepping down from the CEO role in January. The succession plan had begun in early 2021, according to the company. Gerard was previously the president and COO.

“Seeing what we have built since 2014, the talent we have developed, the patients we have cared for and the quality care we have focused on and delivered has been simply astonishing,” Kusserow said at the time. “Though there is so much to be proud of, I am especially proud of the team we have assembled across the organization, which is why I am so confident in a seamless transition to Chris.”

At the end of October, Gerard touted Amedisys’ new contract with CVS Health’s (NYSE: CVS) Aetna, telling other Medicare Advantage plans to “take note” for the future.

In the third quarter, Amedisys’ net service revenue increased $4.5 million year over year to $558 million, about a 1% increase. The company did miss Wall Street estimates, however.

Since Oct. 26 – the day before the Q3 earnings release – Amedisys stock has fallen from $105 per share to just under $85 per share as of market close on Thursday. Year to date, the company’s stock is down about 50% from about $168 per share.