Humana, ChenMed continue an established partnership by announcing 5-year network agreement

It's a busy week for senior-focused primary care companies.

On the heels of CVS' blockbuster deal to buy Oak Street Health, ChenMed announced a five-year network agreement with Humana to provide the insurer's Medicare Advantage members with in-network primary care at ChenMed facilities.

ChenMed’s health centers providing seniors with primary care will now be available to Humana’s MA population including CarePlus MA members in Florida. The two companies began collaborating in the 1990s in south Florida, a partnership that has been bolstered by joint ventures in the last decade.

“ChenMed and our partners at Humana understand seniors, and together we have deep experience delivering on the spectrum of their primary care needs. We look forward to continuing our work with Humana to expand much-needed access to ChenMed’s senior-focused concierge care and industry-leading patient outcomes,” said Michael Redmond, ChenMed's chief financial officer, a press release. “We are excited about this agreement, which guarantees our patients will continue to have access to Humana’s leading health plans, along with the personalized, high-touch care we provide.”

ChenMed and Humana created the JenCare Senior Medical Centers in 2011 starting in Florida. The centers quickly expanded beyond the state. Recently, Steve Nelson was hired as chief executive officer of JenCare. The venture now operates in five states and services 50,000 patients as of summer 2022.

The ChenMed branded medical center chains – Chen Senior Medical Centers, Dedicated Senior Medical Centers, IntuneHealth and JenCare Senior Medical Centers – are located in 120 locations in 15 states. ChenMed also owns health tech company Curity.

Care at ChenMed centers is described by the company as “proactive, preventative primary care.” The provider refers to itself as physician-led and seeks to serve moderate-to-low-income seniors with complex chronic conditions.

ChenMed has snatched up partnerships with other big names including agreements with Instacart Health to deliver healthy food to seniors and Lyft Healthcare to provide transportation to clinics.

“Specialized primary care facilities focused on seniors’ unique needs have a proven positive impact on health outcomes. We are excited to not only strengthen our long-standing relationship with ChenMed, but also benefit from its growing national presence to ensure a broader group of seniors have access to providers who are focused on their needs,” George Renaudin, Humana’s president of Medicare and Medicaid, wrote in a press release. “More senior-focused providers in more markets means more options for high-quality, value-based care for our members.”

Out of Humana’s 8.6 million Medicare members across the country, 5.6 million are enrolled as MA members. These members are now able to access ChenMed’s suite of care facilities on top of Humana’s CenterWell and Conviva senior-directed primary care facilities. The two facilities boast 220 locations over 11 states.

Humana recently faced concerning news that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will change how it handles Risk Adjustment Data Validation for Medicare Advantage plans. While the new rule may yield $4.7 billion for the government, insurers like Humana who deal primarily within the MA market have been fighting the change for some time.

Humana Chief Financial Officer Susan Diamond said at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January that litigation from the industry is likely to follow the rule change.

At the conference, the payer showed a rebound year after disappointing MA enrollment the year before. Last year, Humana estimates that it brought in between 150,000 and 200,000 members. The number is no small feat with other movers in the MA space, like CVS Health-owned Aetna, calling last year's enrollment “disappointing.”

The insurer also recently announced that it would be opening 10 new CenterWell clinics in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Two locations were set to open on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 with Humana announcing plans to open between 30 and 50 centers annually through 2025.