Humana (NYSE: HUM) is leaning further into home health care as a key area of focus, going as far as to label it “the new frontier in value-based medicine” during an investor day presentation Tuesday.
“Our journey into the home is in full gear,” William Fleming, segment president of health care services at Humana, told analysts. “We believe these next few years will be an important period of time for us and powerful work as we transform the home into a comprehensive care delivery setting.”
Humana is relatively new to home health care, but the insurer seems committed to making up for lost time: Along with private equity groups TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, Humana acquired Kindred at Home last year for $4.1 billion. The insurer and the same two PE groups also acquired Curo Health Services, combining the two businesses to effectively create the largest home health and hospice service provider in the U.S.
Despite the acquisition being more costly than Humana anticipated, Kindred at Home is already posting strong results for the insurer.
Since joining Humana, Kindred at Home — which serves more than 100,000 patients with more than 50,000 caregivers — has launched five value-based home care pilots, which have yielded hospitalization rates 38% below state benchmarks and ER visit rates 15% below the national average, according to the Humana investor day presentation.
“While we are early in our journey — with our journey to the home — our conviction is validated by what we’re seeing,” Fleming said, also outlining priorities to provide faster access to home health services in the years to come.
The goal is to reach Kindred at Home members in “much less” than the 48 hours that contracts call for.
Meanwhile, integration and data sharing between Humana organizations and Kindred at Home has helped clinicians improve care, company executives said.
“This helps with a stronger care plan,” Fleming said. “So when that clinician is in the home, they know about the person well ahead of time. It’s a productivity opportunity for that local clinician who’s working on the front line.”
Humana executives also weighed in on their focus on social determinants of health — or environmental factors that can influence a person’s health — during their investor day presentation.
Though addressing social determinants of health started as a “bold goal” for Humana to tackle in 11 select markets, addressing them is now a “critical piece of the operating model.”
“[Social determinants of health] are the things that we’re really trying to think through and evolve in our clinical models with Kindred at Home, with Humana At Home and how we’re showing up,” Flemming said. “Making this a priority, embedding this capability deeply and how we show up every day, whether it’s Kindred at Home or Humana At Home, or pharmacy … is really what we’re striving for.”
Also during the presentation, Humana executive outlined plans to grow its primary care network geared toward seniors in the year ahead, with plans to enter several new markets.