Humana’s latest — and, literally, greatest — purchase will change the home health scene. I’m speaking, of course, of the company’s announcement this week to acquire the remaining 60% portion of Kindred at Home for $5.7 billion.
Arguably, the company already has played the role of disruptor. When it purchased the first 40% of the company in 2018, Humana noted it has used value-based care to keep many of its 3.5 million Medicare Advantage policy holders at home and out of the hospital.
But Humana has taken even more steps to shore up its home health business since it bought its first piece of Kindred at Home. It has rounded out its home health perspective with several new strategic partnerships. Among the most notable, it signed an agreement with Heal, a market leader in transforming healthcare through in-home, comprehensive primary care. It also recently teamed up with DispatchHealth to provide hospital-level care in the home.
And on Wednesday, during its first-quarter earnings call, President and CEO Bruce Broussard stated that the home will be the next service to adopt the company’s new CenterWell brand, which unites the company’s ranger of payer-agnostic healthcare service offerings.
“We see the home coupled with our primary care strategy as the next meaningful opportunity to improve access to quality, proactive care for a broader senior population,” Broussard said, according to a transcript of the call. “As such, we continue to invest in assets that allow us to better manage the holistic needs of our members and patients by expanding care in the home, including primary care, telehealth and emergency room care are also addressing social determinants of health.”
Is there any stopping Humana’s growing dominance in the home health space? If this were a Monopoly game, Humana would hold the equivalent to Boardwalk, Park Place and all the green properties (that is, Pacific Avenue, North Carolina Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue).
But, of course, this is more than a game. It’s about older people’s lives. And health. If the company takes innovative, transformative steps to allow people to maintain a high quality of life at home while reducing costs, it deserves to be a market leader.
Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Follow her @LizaBerger19 and email her at [email protected]