Humana Plans Primary Care Expansion in Medically Underserved Areas

Humana Plans Primary Care Expansion in Medically Underserved Areas. A clinician talks with a patient.

Competition for primary care patients from disruptors continues to heat up. Humana states it will operate up to 260 CenterWell or Conviva care centers in medically underserved areas by year end. The insurer, which now operates 200 primary care clinics in nine states, plans to expand into Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Humana’s clinics, staffed by physicians, nurses and nurse care coaches, pharmacists, behavioral health specialists and social workers, now serve 300,000 Medicare Advantage (MA), traditional Medicare and Medicaid patients. The insurer hopes to deliver better outcomes at lower costs by directing its 4.3 million MA patients to outpatient sites while addressing the social factors influencing their health needs.

Some of Humana’s competitors, including United Health Group’s Optum and CVS Health, have also been investing in primary care services to expand their relationships with health care customers. Optum offers primary care services through physician practices and urgent care centers while CVS Health is working on ways to add physicians to its HealthHubs and MinuteClinics, which have traditionally been staffed by nurses.

Humana’s clinic expansion will be funded in part from a three-year $600 million investment from the private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stow.

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