Nearly 60 Percent of LHC Group Home Health Agencies Recognized as "HomeCare Elite" in 2012

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LAFAYETTE, La., Oct. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LHC Group Inc. (Nasdaq:LHCG), a national provider of post-acute care services, today announced that nearly 60 percent of its home health agencies have been rated among the nation's best in a new ranking released this week.

In total, 134 LHC Group home health agencies from 63 providers are ranked among the 2012 "HomeCare Elite," an independent rating of home health quality and performance. The HomeCare Elite listing, compiled annually by OCS HomeCare and DecisionHealth, names the top 25 percent of home health agencies in the United States.

"At LHC Group, our 8,000 employees are united by a shared purpose. In everything we do, it's all about helping people," said Keith G. Myers, LHC Group's chairman and chief executive officer. "HomeCare Elite recognition bears out what our tens of thousands of patients already know. All across the country and in every community we're privileged to serve, our home health professionals are delivering superior, compassionate health care that ranks among the nation's best."

The number of LHC Group agencies earning HomeCare Elite recognition continues to increase each year. The 2012 number of 63 providers is up from 49 providers in 2011 and 44 providers in 2010.

"HomeCare Elite recognition is significant for what it represents," said Don Stelly, a registered nurse and LHC Group's president and chief operating officer. "This independent, objective rating is based on the quality of care we provide to our patients and the efficiency with which we operate our agencies. It is proof positive that our industry-leading model of partnership – with patients, families, physicians and hospitals – is raising the bar of excellence for health care at home."

LHC Group is a national leader in post-acute care partnerships with hospitals, seamlessly transitioning patients from the hospital to home and helping hospitals reduce avoidable readmissions. LHC Group is also the only national home health provider committed to 100 percent Joint Commission accreditation.

The 2012 HomeCare Elite ranking is a compilation of the most successful home care providers in the United States. Now in its seventh year, the market-leading review names the top 25 percent of agencies based on a collection of performance measures. This year, those measures include quality of care, quality improvement, patient experience, process measure implementation and financial performance.

OCS HomeCare, a product of National Research Corporation, uses publicly available data from Home Health Compare and CMS cost reports to create the HomeCare Elite list of agencies.

The quality of care, process measure implementation and patient experience domains measure agency performance in each of the publicly reported Home Health Compare measures. The quality improvement index is based on changes in the eight outcomes between data released in July 2011 and July 2012. The financial performance measure represents agency indexed Medicare profit margin from the 2011 CMS cost reports (or 2010 adjusted when 2011 data was not available).

Agency performance in each of the domains was compared against the performance of other organizations in the state and nationwide (including U.S. territories). The domains were combined into one overall score, using a weighting methodology that gives the greatest importance to quality of care.

About LHC Group Inc.

LHC Group Inc. is a national provider of post-acute care, providing quality, cost-effective health care to patients within the comfort and privacy of their home or place of residence. LHC Group provides a comprehensive array of post-acute healthcare services through home health, hospice and private duty locations in its home-based division and long-term acute care hospitals in its facility-based division.

Certain matters discussed in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements about the Company's future financial performance and the strength of the Company's operations. Such forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "continue," "expect," and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including changes in reimbursement, changes in government regulations, changes in LHC Group's relationships with referral sources, increased competition for LHC Group's services, increased competition for joint venture and acquisition candidates, changes in the interpretation of government regulations, and other risks set forth in Item 1A. Risk Factors in LHC Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. LHC Group undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Eric Elliott Investor Relations (337) 233-1307 Amy Stevens Media Relations (337) 233-1307

Source:LHC Group