Detail shot of PharMerica’s RxNow drug dispensing system. | Courtesy of PharMerica

BrightSpring Health Services President and CEO Jon Rousseau said that the company’s proposed merger with PharMerica would help the companies reduce health care costs, in part by making sure that people stick to their medication regimens.

Rousseau told Insider Wednesday morning that the merger also would provide BrightSpring with more capabilities to provide care for the elderly and people with disabilities, which should help make the company a preferred provider for state and federal agencies.

“This was a terrific opportunity for us,” he said.

BrightSpring, formerly known as ResCare, and PharMerica announced Tuesday that they plan to merge. BrightSpring supports therapy, vocational training and job placement services for people with disabilities and provides home care for the elderly. PharMerica provides pharmacy management services for institutional health care providers including hospitals, people receiving in-home care and skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

The companies are held privately, which means their financial data is not publicly available. However, when PharMerica was still a public company last year, it generated about $2 billion in revenue. Rousseau has told Insider that BrightSpring’s revenue also is near $2 billion.

Jon Rousseau

PharMerica’s capabilities fit well within BrightSpring’s goal to offer diversified health care services to people with disabilities and seniors in order to keep them out of hospitals as long as possible and to provide care in the patients’ preferred settings, whether at home or in assisted living facilities, Rousseau said.

BrightSpring achieves those goals by providing day-to-day support to help people stay independent, Rousseau said. Those efforts include making sure that people have adequate housing, food, safety and companionship, which all are critical to keeping people healthy.

Another important aspect, he said, is providing people the right medications for their ailments, helping them understand when and how to take their medications and then making sure they do consistently. Failure to adhere to their medication regimen is a main reason why people are sent to the hospital, Rousseau said, or back to the hospital after a procedure.

BrightSpring has a pharmacy business that includes 11 pharmacies that provide medications in 30 states, he said, and revenues there have grown more than 20 percent a year. However, combining PharMerica’s pharmacy expertise and capabilities with BrightSpring’s care network, including nurses, therapists and physicians, would help both companies make sure that people get the right care and medications at the right time and in the most appropriate settings, he said.

Combining the two companies would allow them to offer a unique set of capabilities, including home health and rehabilitation, behavioral health to people with disabilities or autism, pharmacy services and workforce services, Rousseau said.

A BrightSpring client interacts virtually with a caregiver. | Screenshot from BrightSpring video

The merger also would enable patients to receive comprehensive care from one provider, he said, which will make BrightSpring more attractive to health insurance companies and government agencies that pay for the care. Rousseau said that states and insurers increasingly want to deal with partners who can work with them across large areas and diverse populations.

Those efficiencies also would help BrightSpring continue to invest in technology and innovation to further set itself apart from competitors, he said.

The CEO also stated that he expects the merger would have no impact on the number of Louisville employees, which are near 1,500. In total, BrightSpring employs about 40,000, while PharMerica last year had about 6,000 employees.

The companies said that they expect the deal, which has to clear regulatory hurdles including antitrust laws, to close in the first quarter of next year.

Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.