Humana is continuing its investment in primary care for older adults, with plans to operate up to 260 total health centers across 12 states by the end of 2022.
Across Humana's CenterWell and Conviva brands, the insurer's primary-care organization currently operates approximately 200 centers across nine states. The company plans to expand its CenterWell clinics into Arizona, Kentucky and Texas and open 26 new sites this year. It did not specify growth targets for its Conviva arm.
But the company's clinic expansion is funded, in part, through a three-year, $600 million deal the company inked with private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. WCAS is the majority stakeholder in the joint venture.
CenterWell and Conviva clinics currently serve 300,000 Medicare Advantage, traditional Medicare and Medicaid patients and are available to individuals enrolled through carriers other than Humana. They are staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, "nurse care coaches," clinical pharmacists, behavioral health specialists and social workers.
By directing its 4.3 million Medicare Advantage members to outpatient sites for care, and addressing their social determinants of health needs, Humana aims to inspire better patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs. Humana is the nation's second-largest Medicare Advantage insurer, after UnitedHealthcare. Many of the insurer's Conviva and CenterWell clinics are located in medically underserved areas, the company said.
"The senior-focused care we provide enables our physicians to spend more time with each patient," Renee Buckingham, president of Humana's primary-care organization, said in a news release. "This personalized approach improves our patients' lives and well-being, and is driving demand for growth in new centers across the U.S."
The insurer's investment in primary care represents a strategic reversal of the route Oak Street Health, Iora Health and ChenMed have gone, since these clinics started by offering provider services and now have been looking to take on the financial risk for patients. In addition to growing its own primary care brand, Humana has also invested in all of these retail startup clinic operators.
"We're excited about everything we have planned for this year because it means we'll be able to serve far more seniors with care that is designed for them," Dr. Vivek Garg, chief medical officer for Humana's CenterWell and Conviva clinics, said in a news release.