updated 1/3/2011 7:16:50 AM ET 2011-01-03T12:16:50

LAFAYETTE, La., Jan. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LHC Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:LHCG), a national provider of home health and hospice, announced today that it has acquired hospice locations in Alabama and Louisiana and entered into a home health joint venture in Kentucky.

LHC Group acquired certain assets from Hospice Complete, Inc. to operate four Alabama-based hospice agencies located in Trussville, Jasper, Anniston/Oxford and Tuscaloosa. The primary service area of this acquisition covers 22 counties in the Certificate of Need (CON) state of Alabama, with an estimated population of approximately 1.7 million and almost 15% over the age of 65. The combined annual net revenue of these four agencies is approximately $4.8 million. These agencies will continue to operate under the name of Hospice Complete.

In addition, LHC Group acquired Vital Hospice located in Hammond, Louisiana. The primary service area of this acquisition covers a 50-mile radius that includes approximately 18 parishes in Southeast Louisiana, with an estimated population of approximately 2.1 million and almost 12% over the age of 65. Annual net revenue for this acquisition is approximately $1.5 million. This agency will operate under the name of Feliciana Hospice and Palliative Care.

Keith G. Myers, chief executive officer of LHC Group, said, "It is with great pleasure that I welcome the employees from Hospice Complete and Vital Hospice into our growing LHC Group family. These hospice acquisitions fit perfectly into our strategy of growing our hospice footprint in markets where we already have a strong presence in home health. We look forward to continuing with this strategy throughout 2011 and being able to offer quality home health and hospice services to the patients and families in our service areas."

The Company also announced today that it had entered into a home health joint venture with Marshall County Hospital, located in Benton, Kentucky, to provide home health services in Marshall County.

In commenting on the home health joint venture, Kathy Long, chief executive officer of Marshall County Hospital, said, "Today, we entered into a home health joint venture with LHC Group, which is nationally recognized for partnering with hospitals to operate home health agencies. We intend to retain an ownership interest and to continue operating under the name Marshall County Hospital Home Health. Home health is an incredibly important part of our services; we expect this partnership to bring even more home and community-based resources to the citizens of Marshall County. LHC Group, with over 60 partnerships with non-profit hospitals around the country and three here in Kentucky, has an excellent reputation for adding expertise and additional resources needed to enhance hospital-based home care operations. We believe this relationship will allow us to improve the quality of home care we provide and to expand the scope of our services."

Mr. Myers added, "We are proud to partner with Marshall County Hospital and look forward to working with them to deliver the highest quality home health services to the residents of Marshall County. LHC Group and Marshall County Hospital share a common goal of providing high quality patient care in an environment that is rewarding for our employees and caregivers. Together, we intend to develop a home health partnership that will serve as the standard of excellence."

About LHC Group, Inc.

LHC Group, Inc. ( LHCGroup.com ) is a national provider of home health and hospice services, providing quality, cost-effective healthcare 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 and hospice 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, 2009, 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.

          Eric Elliott, Vice President of Investor Relations
          (337) 233-1307

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