Humana’s home health strategy remains firmly on track, with the latest development being the rebranding of Kindred at Home to CenterWell Home Health in several additional markets.
A little over a year ago, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) unveiled the “CenterWell” brand for the Louisville, Kentucky-based company’s range of payer-agnostic health care offerings, which includes senior-focused primary care along with home health services. Humana announced on Wednesday that Kindred at Home locations in 14 states have officially moved to the new name.
Those states are Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Kindred at Home locations in seven states had already transitioned to the CenterWell name as of March 1.
“During the pandemic, the amount of care delivered in the home surged, further validating to patients and providers alike that home is an effective site for the care of many conditions,” Dr. Andy Agwunobi, president of Humana’s home business, said in a press release. “As a result, we expect increased levels of adoption of care in the home to continue.”
Humana is one of the nation’s largest health insurers, particularly in the Medicare Advantage space. The company completed its full acquisition of Kindred at Home in August, purchasing an outstanding 60% stake from TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) for $5.7 billion.
At the time the transaction was finalized, Kindred at Home provided home health, hospice and personal care services to more than 550,000 patients annually. Since then, however, Humana opted to sell a portion of Kindred’s hospice and personal care assets to private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice for $2.8 billion.
“While palliative and hospice services are important components in the continuum of care that Humana offers patients, we are confident that we can deliver desired patient outcomes and improved customer experiences through partnership models rather than fully owning [Kindred at Home] hospice,” Humana CFO Susan Diamond said at the time.
But as Wednesday’s news reflects, home health continues to clearly be “at the center” of Humana’s health care services strategy. Moving forward, the company plans to further invest in home-based clinical solutions that can improve patient health outcomes and increase satisfaction for patients and providers alike, while also creating value for health plan partners.
The rebranding of Kindred at Home to CenterWell “reinforces” that idea, according to Agwunobi.
“So the rollout of the CenterWell Home Health brand comes at a great time,” he said.
The final phase of the rebranding process is scheduled for early September, when Kindred home health operations in 17 additional states are expected to move to the CenterWell Home Health name. When the rebranding is complete, CenterWell Home Health will support patients from more than 350 locations across 38 states, according to Humana.
“Our patients can rest assured that CenterWell Home Health will maintain care continuity throughout the brand transition,” Susan Benoit, president of CenterWell Home Health, said in the release. “In fact, both patients and providers should notice little change in their experience, with the same care provided by their same trusted caregivers.”
In March 2021, Humana also introduced CenterWell Senior Primary Care, its senior-focused primary care arm. As of this March, the company operated 214 senior-focused primary care clinics, serving 180,000 patients in Medicare value-based arrangements.
Similar to home health care, those senior-focused clinics are a core part of Humana’s long-term vision. The company, in fact, recently invested another $1.2 billion into CenterWell Senior Primary Care with joint venture partner WCAS, with the goal of expanding the footprint even further.
Specifically, CenterWell and WCAS plan to develop 100 new senior-focused, payer-agnostic primary care clinics between 2023 and 2025.
“Early success has led to increased interest in our payer-agnostic model, and under this new joint venture, we look forward to significantly expanding our geographic footprint and serving even more patients in more communities around the country,” Reneé Buckingham, president of Humana’s primary care organization, said at the time of the investment.