Humana Sees Potential Role for Kindred in New Walgreens Initiative

Insurance giant Humana (NYSE: HUM) is rolling out senior-focused primary care clinics in some Walgreens pharmacies and believes that its Kindred at Home division could bring added value.

“Does [Walgreens’] combination of brand, geography, familiarity, comfort — does that create a step-change in customers’ willingness to engage with us, whether in the store or virtually?” Humana CFO Brian A. Kane said last Friday during a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference. “How do we integrate the home into that? There are things we can ultimately do with Kindred that we think could be interesting. We are very excited about the prospect there.”

Louisville-based Humana acquired a 40% stake in Kindred at Home, the nation’s largest home health care provider, as part of a $4.1 billion deal announced last December.


The insurer believes that these home care capabilities will help it better manage costs and outcomes for its roughly 3.3 million Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

With similar objectives in mind, Humana has partnered with Walgreens Boots Alliance to open primary care clinics in two Walgreens stores in Kansas City, Missouri. Clinics in other markets could follow.

Humana has made other big moves in recent months as well, including purchasing hospice provider Curo for $1.4 billion to build out the Kindred platform even further with end-of-life services. In April, the insurer announced a deal with Landmark to provide specialized in-home services such as urgent house calls.


And Humana is opening a digital health center in Boston, including a dedicated team to help create a new health experience for seniors.

While it remains to be seen how well Humana can put all these pieces together, the company’s ambitions are clear and large.

“What we are trying to do with health care is fundamental transformation,” Kane said at the Morgan Stanley event.

Investors have been bullish on the company’s direction.

Humana’s share price hit a new all-time high in July, trading at $319.44, and has risen further since then. Shares were trading at $334.04 at the end of the day on Monday.

Written by Tim Mullaney

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