Health

Humana’s CenterWell to offer in-home primary care


Humana’s CenterWell Senior Primary Care is joining the growing ranks of providers offering in-home care to older adults through a new program called Primary Care Anywhere. 

The home care initiative is starting in the Georgia cities of Atlanta, Savannah and Columbus, as well as in New Orleans, where CenterWell Senior Primary Care has brick-and-mortar locations. The program could expand to 10 other southern and southwestern states where the company has offices.

Services offered will include routine medical medical exams, laboratory work and prescription management from doctors and nurses.

Related: Humana grows private equity-backed primary care

CenterWell is providing the care through Heal, the house call company Humana acquired earlier this year for an undisclosed sum. Services will be made available to patients with Humana Medicare Advantage plans, as well as patients with other Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service Medicare plans that have contracts with CenterWell.

Primary care is part of $265 billion in healthcare services transitioning from facilities to the home over the next couple of years, according to consultancy McKinsey and Company.

The growing population of older adults, and the challenges this group faces in accessing primary care, creates a potentially lucrative market for in-home primary care. By 2040, the number of adults age 65 and older is forecast to grow to nearly 80 million, from 56 million today, according to the Health and Human Services Department.

Home-based care can help providers better identify and address social determinants of health, such as food insecurity, unsafe housing and loneliness, which can exacerbate chronic conditions in patients. For health insurers, keeping older adults healthy and out of the hospital could potentially result in significant cost savings. 

Those factors are why senior-focused, home-based primary care has become a hot opportunity—WellBe Senior Medical,and Patina Health  launched in 2020 and HarmonyCares was started under a different name three decades ago. Although the companies have different business models, they all partner with health insurers and operate under a value-based care model that rewards them on the efficiency and effectiveness of the care they provide.

With 272,000 patients across a dozen states and the backing of Humana, CenterWell Senior Primary Care could become a dominant player in home-based primary care. It could also drive business to Humana’s other CenterWell brands, CenterWell Pharmacy and CenterWell Home Health. 

“Many of our current primary care patients, no matter how they are receiving care, experience the need for home health services,” said Dr. Vivek Garg, chief medical officer for CenterWell Senior Primary Care. “We are looking for ways to bring together the visibility of our primary care teams that we can do better than the current state.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges said the new providers could help extend the reach of primary care providers, especially to seniors who often have trouble accessing care. But the association warned the current shortage of nurses, social workers and doctors could present a challenge to the model’s growth and success.  

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