Insurance company Humana (NYSE: HUM) is partnering up with pharmacy retail business Walgreens Boots Alliance in a new pilot deal to operate senior-focused primary care clinics.
The deal will establish the clinics inside two Walgreens stores in Kansas City, Missouri, operated by Partners in Primary Care, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Humana. The venture could also expand to other markets over time, the companies announced Wednesday.
The news comes amid a string of recent M&A activity and deal speculation for Humana. The company recently made moves to acquire a stake in Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND), the nation’s largest home health care provider, in a $4.1 billion deal. Walmart (NYSE: WMT) has also been rumored to potentially buy Humana.
The clinics are scheduled to open this fall and will complement Walgreens pharmacy services and the the four Partners in Primary Care locations that opened in Kansas City in 2017. Partners in Primary Care is a primary medical group practice operating in South Carolina, North Carolina, Kansas and Missouri.
“This unique partnership supports Humana’s multi-faceted approach to health care in this community and is a continuation of our senior-focused care strategy which is centered on integrating care through clinical programs that intersect health and lifestyle,” Bruce Broussard, Humana president and CEO, said in a statement.
The pilot also comes as competitors in the industry are looking to expand their services and offer a more complete continuum of services. Pharmacy giant CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is underway in a bid to acquire Aetna (NYSE: AET), the nation’s third-largest insurance provider for $69 billion. CVS also recently announced it will deliver prescriptions to consumers’ homes from its 9,800 nationwide locations.
The collaboration between Humana and Walgreens underscores that insurers are making major efforts to extend services beyond institutional care, eyeing retail as a major contributor to health in communities.
“We continue to develop new and innovative models to bring health care services closer to our customers, and deliver the trusted care our communities have come to expect from Walgreens,” Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., said in a statement. “With this new initiative, we can expand the care for seniors that our pharmacists and other team members have provided for decades. I am confident that this collaboration will be a great example of the power of strategic partnership in providing better health care services in the communities we both serve.”
Written by Amy Baxter