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VITAS Healthcare Corporation Subsidiary of Chemed Acquires Hospice in Atlanta, Georgia

CINCINNATI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 26, 2004--Chemed Corporation (NYSE:CHE) today announced that its VITAS Healthcare Corporation subsidiary has acquired Haven House Hospice located in Atlanta, Georgia, effective August 26, 2004. This acquisition adds approximately 30 patients in a new market to VITAS' network of hospice programs. VITAS is the nation's largest provider of end-of-life hospice care services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"This acquisition reflects VITAS' entry into markets that present further opportunities for growth and expansion. As one of Atlanta's oldest hospice programs, Haven House has demonstrated an enduring commitment to serving patients and families with quality hospice services. VITAS looks forward to honoring that commitment and growing to meet the expanding end-of-life needs of the Atlanta community," stated Timothy O'Toole, President and Chief Executive Officer of VITAS.

"Over the years, VITAS has completed a number of successful acquisitions of both nonprofit and for-profit hospice operations," O'Toole added. "In addition, VITAS has launched a number of new-start locations and currently has eight new-start programs in three new states, five of which are now serving patients and families."

Listed on the New York Stock Exchange and headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Chemed Corporation (www.chemed.com) is the nation's largest provider of end-of-life hospice care services through its VITAS Healthcare Corporation subsidiary. Chemed also maintains a presence in the residential and commercial repair-and-maintenance industry through two subsidiaries. Roto-Rooter is North America's largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services. Service America Network Inc. provides major-appliance and heating/air-conditioning repair, maintenance, and replacement services.

Statements in this press release or in other Chemed communications may relate to future events or Chemed's future performance. Such statements are forward-looking statements and are based on present information Chemed has related to its existing business circumstances. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risk that actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Further, investors are cautioned that Chemed does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements based on unanticipated events or changed expectations.

VITAS Innovative Hospice Care(R), a pioneer and leader in the hospice movement since 1978, is the nation's largest provider of end-of-life care. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, VITAS operates 31 hospice programs in 11 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin). VITAS, which has evolved from its founding as a volunteer organization by a United Methodist Minister and an oncology nurse, today employs 6,550 professionals who care for terminally ill patients daily, primarily in the patients' homes, but also in the company's 19 hospice inpatient units, as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities/residential-care facilities for the elderly. At the conclusion of the second quarter of 2004, VITAS reported an average daily census of 8,581. The name, VITAS (pronounced VEE-tahs), is derived from the Latin word for lives. It symbolizes the VITAS mission: To preserve the quality of life for those who have a limited time to live.


    CONTACT: Chemed Corporation
             David P. Williams, 513-762-6901

    SOURCE: Chemed Corporation