Humana buys Florida physician group amid Walmart rumors

Humana building
The Louisville-based insurer added a 22-clinic practice in Florida for an undisclosed amount. (Humana)

Humana has purchased a large physician group in Orlando despite speculation that the Louisville, Kentucky-based insurer may be acquired by Walmart. 

The acquisition of Family Physicians Group, which has 22 clinics in Florida and provides care for more than 40,000 Medicare Advantage and Medicaid patients, was completed Tuesday, the insurer said

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Humana said the purchase will help the insurer continue its shift towards paying more for value and outcomes than on the number of services rendered, and help providers manage care holistically rather than episodically. Critics, however, have warned such acquisitions could causes ethical conflicts when a provider of care is intertwined with the payer. 

The transaction comes on the heels of Humana's acquisition of long-term care provider Kindred Healthcare, along with two private equity firms. The deal, recently approved by Kindred shareholders, is designed to give the insurer a stronger foothold in the post-acute care market. 

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“We are pleased with our achievements and are committed to continuing the quality care we provide to our patients across all our payer partners,” Betty Assapimonwait, CEO of the Family Physicians Group, said in a statement. 

It is unknown how much of an impact the purchase would be on a hypothetical deal with Walmart, which has also sparked concerns.

This is not the first time a major health insurer has bought a physician practice. Humana's acquisition follows in the footsteps of UnitedHealth's $4.8 billion purchase of DaVita's primary care unit last year.