Future Leader: Kris Novak, Amedisys Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions

The Future Leaders Awards program is offered to you in partnership with PointClickCare. The program is designed to recognize emerging industry members who shape the next decade in senior housing, skilled nursing, home health, and hospice care. To see this year’s future leaders, visit https://futureleaders.agingmedia.com/.

Kris Novak, Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions at Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been named Future Leader 2021 by Home Health Care News.

To become a Future Leader, a person is nominated by their colleagues. The candidate must be a high performing employee, 40 years old or younger, a passionate worker who knows how to turn visions into action, and an advocate for seniors and dedicated professionals caring for their wellbeing.

Novak sat down with HHCN to discuss the role of technology in accelerating home care and why leaders should be ready to lead by example.

HHCN: What brought you to this industry?

Novak: Healthcare in a global sense is just a really good place to be for a career. We try to talk about it a lot with our team and while we are recruiting other candidates who may be from finance or corporate development.

At the end of the day, it’s also nice to know that while our daily tasks leading the M&A and development front don’t directly affect our patients, the organization we support has an incredible impact on the lives of our patients and theirs Familys.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting out in this industry?

You have to learn to thrive through change. And you have to try to find the opportunities that change offers. Healthcare just keeps evolving.

I started in 2009 so over the past 12 years we’ve seen our fair share of changes in home health, in the hospice, and in other home care facilities. I just cannot imagine working without a flexible and optimistic attitude.

If there was anything you could change about the future of home care, what would it be?

On the one hand, reimbursement structures. I would also like to see greater use of some important services that are still a little underdeveloped but really allow our patients to age on the spot. I am thinking, for example, of telemedicine, palliative medicine and intensive care at home.

The development of the reimbursement factors will lead to greater utilization there. I think this will be important as we continue to show that we can do a lot more things for patients at home.

What do you think is different in the home care industry for 2022?

Whether it’s home nursing in the traditional sense or advanced capabilities, I think technology will continue to enable our clinicians to adequately upgrade levels of care at home. We will be able to deliver really high quality outcomes, higher patient and family satisfaction levels, and frankly, some cost effective outcomes for all types of payers.

I think there will always be a change. There will be many changes due to the patient-centered grouping model (PDGM) leading to consolidation. Value-based purchasing will also create incentives and increase competition. The best providers are awarded. I think this is good for our patients. I think it’s good to further improve the perception of care at home.

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In a word, how would you describe the future of home care?

In a word, I would call it “essential”.

What quality must all future managers have?

You should be ready to lead by example.

I think from the corporate side we are a cost center. Of course we are driving growth through acquisitions and innovations, but we have to rely on experts with different backgrounds and experience across the company to successfully acquire, integrate and then operate [businesses] on a high level.

None of what we do is done by any person or department. You need to be a good listener and use the team’s balance. You can’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves with your colleagues to find good solutions.

If you could give yourself some advice as you look back on your first day in the industry, what would it be and why?

The more you can learn to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, the better.

It takes coordinated internal and external efforts to close the big deal or execute a complex integration project plan. Always having this perspective and openness often helps to find the best solution.

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