The formation of a value-based kidney care powerhouse was completed Wednesday. Officially formed now is InterWell Health, which came together through a merger of InterWell, Fresenius Health Partners and Cricket Health.
The deal was first announced in March. Together, the companies will become a $2.4 billion brand.
The kidney care market has undoubtedly been booming of late. The need in the U.S. for kidney care is also huge. All the while, the prevalence of at-home kidney care programs has been growing, which InterWell believes it will accelerate.
“In a value-based world, it is no longer enough just to provide quality care – providers must help patients change behavior, and this requires a fundamental shift in how we engage patients,” InterWell Health CEO Robert Sepucha said in a press release. “Working closely with our physician partners, we will reduce hospital admissions and readmissions, increase transplant referrals and rates, accelerate the transition to home dialysis and improve health equity.”
The InterWell Health brand will include:
– A network of over 1,700 nephrologists
– An “expertise” in value-based kidney care contracting
– 100,000 covered lives and $6 billion in medical costs under management, with the goal to raise those numbers to 270,000 and $11 billion by 2025, respectively
– A management team that will include Sepucha as CEO; David Pollack as president and COO; and Dr. George Hart as CMO
– Backing from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS), Valtruis, Oak HC/FT, Cigna Ventures and Blue Shield California
The investors are of note. On its end, WCAS has joined forces with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) to expand CenterWell Senior Primary Care, which also has a focus on value-based contracting. Valtruis is a WCAS company. Oak HC/FT also heavily backs CareBridge, which is a value-based home- and community-based services platform.
“The combination of Cricket Health with Fresenius Health Partners and InterWell Health creates a truly comprehensive, value-based kidney care offering and benefits all stakeholders, including patients and physicians,” Valtruis Managing Director Tracy Bahl also said in the press release. “The Valtruis team has been inspired by Cricket Health’s growth and innovation throughout our partnership thus far, and we are excited to witness the acceleration of this progress by the new InterWell Health.”
InterWell Health is just one example of significant money being thrown behind home- and value-focused kidney care companies. For instance, the kidney care provider Somatus announced that it had raised more than $325 million in oversubscribed Series E financing in February.
Monogram Health – a kidney care management company with a home-based focus – also raised $160 million in its Series B.
“We need clinically integrated partnerships with home health companies,” Mike Uchrin, the CEO of Monogram Health, previously told Home Health Care News. “For instance, at any given time, an individual with a late-stage chronic kidney disease will have a wound. About 10% of our population at any given time has an active wound. We need effective home health companies to come in and deliver that wound care. We need those skilled nurses to come into the home and deliver that immediate care.”
The bigger retailers, such as CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) have also been a part of driving kidney care further into the home.