Humana, private equity firm team up to open Medicare-centric primary care clinics 

A doctor examining a patient's eyes
Humana is aiming to grow its primary care business in partnership with a private equity firm. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

Humana is teaming up with New York-based private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) on a joint venture to launch senior-care-centric primary care clinics. 

The private equity firm and Humana are putting up $600 million to fund the clinics, with WCAS taking the majority stake in the venture. David Caluori, a general partner at WCAS, told FierceHealthcare that the goal is “accelerating the development of this model around the country” to reach more seniors.

“There’s a significant need for this model out there,” Caluori said. “We view this as great validation for the continued growth of this type of service for seniors.” 

The clinics will be payer-agnostic and operated by Humana’s primary care subsidiary, Partners in Primary Care. The companies are now on the hunt for the first markets to open the new facilities, Renee Buckingham, Humana's segment president of care delivery, told FierceHealthcare. 

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Through the venture, Partners in Primary Care is expected to more than double its footprint over the next three years. The subsidiary at present runs 47 centers in Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Florida. 

Buckingham said having a primary care model that’s centered on seniors both ensures the care is designed to meet their unique and often complex needs and assists in navigating the health system. 

The partnership, she said, could also ease access issues and bring clinics to underserved seniors. 

“Seniors are living longer today and are having to deal with chronic conditions, oftentimes multiple chronic conditions,” she said. “There is clearly an unmet need in our country for healthcare to really build around the unique needs of seniors.” 

RELATED: Industry Voices—Accelerating adoption of ‘silver technology’ needed for care of aging populations 

Another Humana primary care subsidiary, Conviva, is not party to the venture, the insurer said. Conviva operates 104 senior-focused primary care centers in Florida and Texas. 

As part of the agreement, the two parties have included several put and call options that would either allow Humana to buy out WCAS’ stake in the venture or allow WCAS to force Humana to do so, in stages, over the next five to 10 years. 

Humana expects the venture to have an “immaterial” impact on its 2020 earnings, according to the announcement. 

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