Invo Healthcare will shutter several applied behavior analysis (ABA) subsidiaries, Behavioral Health Business has learned.
The company is altogether leaving the home-based and center-based autism therapy segments to focus on its legacy offering: school-based behavioral health services, including ABA. Officials with Invo Healthcare have said publicly and within the company that its efforts to overcome treacherous market trends have been unsuccessful.
In doing so, Invo Healthcare is shutting down the organizations Autism Home Support Services, ABA2Day Behavior Services and Xcite Steps. Progressus Therapy will also see its home- and center-based service end but will continue to operate its school-based service line.
These subsidiaries encompass at least 23 offices. Public documents Invo Healthcare submitted to state government agencies and that BHB has reviewed show that the closures of these offices will impact at least 983 employees.
That figure excludes data for California-based Xcite Steps, which BHB has not yet obtained. Xcite Steps operates three offices.
Wage inflation and stagnant payer rates pushed the one-time largest autism therapy provider in the U.S., the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), to shutter several locations in 2022 and enter bankruptcy.
In a letter to regulators in Colorado, Invo Healthcare human resources leader Donna Orlando said the coronavirus pandemic and resultant challenges pushed the company to the point that it was at risk of offering suboptimal care.
“After spending the last year and a half on multiple initiatives, operational upgrades and potential alternatives to keep our applied behavior analytics home and center-based operations intact, we ultimately came to the difficult decision to discontinue this aspect of our business,” Orlando said.
Invo Healthcare, a Doylestown, Pennsylvania-based autism and related therapy provider, announced the layoffs to staffers on June 20. The first separations in Colorado and Michigan will be effective on Aug. 21 while the last separations will be effective on Sept. 19, 2023, Orlando’s letter states.
In an email to staffers, Invo Healthcare CEO Matthew Stringer said the company will discontinue home- and center-based services on Sept. 18, 2023.
“We know this is challenging news and we are here to support you through this transition,” Stringer said.
He added that “multiple locations in Florida and Illinois” will be acquired by Florida Autism Center, a division of the Houston, Texas-based autism provider BlueSpring, as well as Lombard, Illinois-based Autism Therapy Group. Invo Healthcare is in talks with other “strategic partners” to which employees and patients alike will be transferred.
Following the closure of the home- and center-based autism therapy subsidiaries, Invo Healthcare will also offer school-based mental health services, including its Invo Multidisciplinary Program to Address Childhood Trauma (IMPACT) program. Other services include speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and behavior coaching.
“Please know this decision was not made lightly,” Stringer said. “We recognize the enormous personal impact this has on you, our teams, our patients, and their families.”
The company also committed “significant capital investment” to keep the home- and center-based ABA business going, on top of the operational efforts, a spokesperson for Invo Healthcare told BHB.
“Invo has been providing school-based services, including ABA therapy, for more than 30 years and has consistently built and expanded its school-based partnerships. Invo remains fully committed to serving school districts across the country,” the spokesperson said.
In September 2019, the San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital announced that it had acquired Invo Healthcare from The Jordan Company. The latter firm invested in Invo in 2017, according to a news release.
Invo Healthcare was founded in 1993 by Patrick McClain.
Earlier in June, CARD filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the same time, CARD’s majority owner signed an agreement to sell its 70% stake in the company to CARD founder Doreen Granheesheh. The deal is pending court approval.
Industry insiders have previously told BHB that the CARD bankruptcy deal was not likely to have a significant impact on the market, and it may also be a limited indicator of where the autism therapy market is today.
The forces that CARD cites as driving it to bankruptcy include stagnant insurance reimbursement, increased labor costs, inflation, the interruption of COVID-era shutdowns and center lease costs.
*Editor’s note (June 23, 2023): This story was originally published June 22. It was updated June 23 after BHB received new information about Invo Healthcare’s plans to exit home- and center-based ABA services, including additional details on layoffs and impacted markets.