Humana’s CenterWell Seeks Bold Growth

CenterWell Senior Primary Care treats over 270,000 seniors in 12 states and plans to open 50 more centers by 2025. 

February 2024 – The Journal of Healthcare Contracting

By Daniel Beaird

Humana introduced CenterWell in 2021 as the new brand for a range of its payor-agnostic healthcare services offerings. The senior-focused “Partners in Primary Care” and “Family Physicians Group” came together as “CenterWell Senior Primary Care.” Additional Humana healthcare services transitioned to the CenterWell brand over time.

It transitioned its Kindred at Home’s home health division to the CenterWell Home Health brand a year later, fully integrating home health operations into Humana. It acquired Kindred at Home in August 2021.

Now, it eyes aggressive growth for senior-focused primary care centers. Humana’s Erica Savage-Jeter, MD, division chief medical officer, told the Fierce Health Payer Summit in October that Humana plans to open 50 new senior-focused primary care centers by 2025.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care is one of the largest, fastest-growing senior-focused, value-based care providers in the country, Humana said. Together with its sister brand Conviva Care Center, the businesses make up Humana’s Primary Care Organization, delivering care to 285,000 seniors in nearly 300 centers as of Sept. 30, 2023. Centers are now open in 15 states.

Its CenterWell Primary Care Anywhere program was launched in August in Georgia and Louisiana for in-home primary care for seniors, mobilizing the capabilities of Heal, a home-based primary care and telehealth company recently acquired by Humana. Patients receive services in the home that are traditionally performed in a doctor’s office as Primary Care Anywhere sends a team of clinicians to the home.

Automation, tech, AI and readmission rates

Automation, consolidation, technology and AI solutions will be deployed across hundreds of branches of CenterWell Home Health, according to Humana CEO Bruce Broussard on the company’s third quarter earnings call. “This will minimize administrative caps while improving clinician productivity – including optimizing their schedule,” he said. “We believe these initiatives will ultimately streamline our operations and lead to increased clinician productivity and satisfaction.”

CenterWell has reported an improvement in visit efficiency using a new AI digital wound management tool. “This has been instrumental in clinical decision-making contributing to an accelerated wound healing time by 35%,” Broussard said.

CenterWell Home Health emergency room and hospital readmission rates in North Carolina and Virginia were more than 150 basis points lower than other providers, according to Broussard. And home solutions cover more than 800,000 Medicare Advantage members, driven by expansion in North Carolina and Virginia, representing an increase of over 200% year-over-year.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 28 million people were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2022, or 48% of the eligible Medicare population and $427 billion of total federal Medicare spending. Medicare Advantage plans are a large part of Humana’s business and contract with the federal government to provide extra benefits and services to seniors.


Humana releases value-based care report

Value-based care is smarter healthcare that lowers costs and keeps Medicare Advantage members healthier, according to the tenth annual Value-Based Care Report released from Humana Inc.

The 2023 report shows that Medicare Advantage (MA) patients receiving care under value-based arrangements spent more time with their primary care physician and were more likely to receive preventive care, with fewer hospitalizations. Meanwhile, physicians working under the value-based model are more empowered and better positioned to coordinate care while prioritizing outcomes over the quantity of services.

Based on data from Humana’s report, VBC enables:

  • A team-based holistic approach to patient care, quarterbacked by their physician with greater support from a multi-disciplinary team including nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, social workers, and others.
  • Coordination across transitions in care, such as after hospital discharge, and collaborating closely with patients and their care team to minimize the risk of ending up back in the hospital.
  • Technology and data usage to help catch and eliminate “gaps in care,” and make sure patients’ needs do not fall through the cracks or get lost or forgotten.
  • More resources and incentives to manage health-related social needs, such as transportation benefits and community support programs.
  • Other key findings from the report:
  • Patients receiving health care under value-based care arrangements grew by 2.3 million over the past decade.
  • 2022 showed a record 70% of Individual Medicare Advantage patients aligned with value-based care providers.
  • Value-based care patients were less likely to spend time in the hospital. There were 30.1% fewer in-patient admissions for value-based care patients compared with Original Medicare beneficiaries in 2022.
  • Value-based care patients were more likely to receive preventive care. Specifically, value-based care patients completed preventive screenings at a 14.6% higher rate than Medicare Advantage members not in a value-based care arrangement.

“The data are clear: Value-based care works,” said Dr. Kate Goodrich, Chief Medical Officer at Humana. “As our report shows, this smarter healthcare model improves outcomes for Medicare Advantage members and allows primary care physicians to practice medicine at the top of their license and develop meaningful relationships with patients. At Humana, we are proud to lead the way on value-based care for our Medicare Advantage members, and we will continue to look for ways to expand this approach into other lines of business.”

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