Humana already has a home care sector in its portfolio, but a recent acquisition of part of Kindred Healthcare’s home health business means it is expanding its operations deeper into this sector. The insurance company announced recently that is will pay approximately $800 million for a 40-percent stake in the business.
A major part of the business that Humana will now have a share of include long-term acute care facilities and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in Louisville, Kentucky. More health insurance companies are taking a vested interest in home care and that may have a direct impact on what happens with the industry in the future.
The Tampa Bay Times ran the Associated Press article, Humana paying $800M for part of Kindred’s home health care business, in which it was stated:
“Humana, which already operates a home health business, said the deal will help it keep costs down, improve health and manage chronic conditions. CEO Bruce Broussard said in a prepared statement that care delivered at home is a “vital element” in improving the health of older people living with chronic conditions, which can include diabetes or heart disease.
Humana has 4,500 employees in multiple locations in Tampa Bay, its second-largest workforce market outside of its corporate headquarters in Louisville, where it has more than 10,000 employees.
Humana is one of the nation’s biggest providers of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the federal Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled. It also provides Medicare prescription drug coverage and offers commercial insurance.”
The main focus of these health insurance companies, by investing in home care, is to not only help reduce costs for themselves, but also to improve care. When patients receive better care at home -whether it’s following a hospital stay or due to progressive challenges- the costs of direct health care may decrease. Fiscally speaking, it’s more economically sound to provide support and care for someone in their home than having to pay for a week’s stay in the hospital.
Shortly before Humana’s announcement, UnitedHealth Group Inc. announced that it would be investing $5 billion to purchase hundreds of clinics from DaVita Inc. Health insurers are stepping up their investments with direct health care services and that is including home care initiatives.
While some may be concerned about access to care for seniors and others due to these mergers and acquisitions, other are hopeful that this could lead to improved quality and access to care.
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