Humana teams with Mercy to expand access to virtual care

A person talks to their doctor on their phone with a laptop in the background
Humana has unveiled a new virtual care partnership with Missouri-based Mercy. (Getty/airdone)

Humana is teaming with Missouri-based health system Mercy to grow access to virtual health resources.

Humana's Medicare Advantage members will have in-network access to Mercy Virtual, the system's "hospital without beds," the companies announced Thursday. Mercy Virtual is staffed with more than 300 clinicians and provides care around the clock, including virtual primary care.

As part of the partnership, Mercy is also entering into a value-based care arrangement with Humana.

“This agreement unites two organizations striving to offer care that is more accessible, personalized and coordinated—a commitment that is more important than ever right now,” said Jeremy Gaskill, Humana regional Medicare president, in a statement. “We’re pleased to broaden our efforts to improve the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve by teaming up with Mercy, an organization that shares our dedication to innovation in health care.”

RELATED: Humana saved $4B through its value-based care programs last year

The offering will be available to any Humana Medicare Advantage member seeking care from one of Mercy's 4,000 primary and specialty care clinicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, according to the announcement.

Joining forces for value-based care builds on the existing network agreement between the two, the partners said.

As of the end of 2020, 2.7 million Humana members are treated across more than 1,000 value-based care relationships that include some-67,000 primary care physicians.

“Mercy is committed to working with our communities to improve health care while also reducing the total cost of care,” said Shannon Sock, Mercy executive vice president, chief strategist and chief financial officer, in a statement. “Strong payer relationships, like this one with Humana, will help in our long-term journey to provide more seamless care for our patients. Together we can make a real difference for patients, which is especially critical during this pandemic.”