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Humana introduces CenterWell brand for payer-agnostic healthcare offerings

This allows Humana to transition certain services to CenterWell, with changes expected to roll out over the next couple of years.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

(Photo courtesy of CenterWell)(Photo courtesy of CenterWell)

Health insurer Humana announced a new brand this week, CenterWell, which encompasses and connects a range of the company's payer-agnostic healthcare services offerings.

The first Humana-owned care services to adopt the new brand will be its senior-focused primary care facilities that have operated as "Partners in Primary Care" in several states and as "Family Physicians Group" in the Orlando area.

The move comes as Humana is pushing to expand its healthcare-services capabilities, from primary care and pharmacy to home care, in order to strengthen its payer-agnostic portfolio. The new CenterWell brand will unite these services.

From a practical standpoint, the brand allows Humana flexibility to transition certain healthcare services to CenterWell, with the changes expected to roll out over the next couple of years.

A senior-focused, payer-agnostic primary care medical group currently operating under two names will become the first CenterWell entity. Starting in April, Partners in Primary Care and Family Physicians Group will be known as CenterWell Senior Primary Care.

The CenterWell senior-focused care facilities include 41 centers that have been branded as Partners in Primary Care, and 24 centers that have operated under the Family Physicians Group brand.

Many of the primary care centers are located in medically underserved areas throughout Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. The medical group accepts patients from many different Medicare Advantage plans.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

The move effectively represents Humana's push to expand its primary care offerings, joining UnitedHealth in that effort, as well as CVS, which is offering "health hubs," and Amazon, which has begun dispensing prescription drugs.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care is undergoing a period of growth, Humana said Tuesday, with 15 new centers opened in the last year, and up to 20 expected to open this year and into early 2022. Georgia enters as a new market later in 2021, with four to six new centers planned in the Atlanta area. 

A similar number of additional new centers is planned in the Houston area, with five more in Louisiana, including Lafayette and the North Shore outside of New Orleans, as well as two new centers planned in Nevada.

CenterWell operates as a value-based medical center, Humana said, in which primary care physicians develop personalized healthcare plans for seniors and help them through the healthcare system. Depending on location, care teams typically include a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant, a behavioral health specialist, social workers, a clinical pharmacist, a care coach and support staff.

They're tasked in part with addressing social determinants of health, such as housing and food insecurity, connecting patients to community resources as needed.

Humana also operates more than 90 senior-focused primary care facilities under the Conviva brand, primarily located in South Florida and South Texas. The Conviva primary care centers are not changing to the CenterWell brand.

THE LARGER TREND

Humana has been making a number of moves as of late. In February, it teamed up with in-home medical care provider DispatchHealth to provide its members with advanced home healthcare services in an effort to enhance patients' experience and health outcomes.

These services will initially be available in Denver and in Tacoma, Wash., with expansion to additional markets in Texas, Arizona and Nevada planned for later this year.

The insurer also recently joined forces with IBM Watson Health on a new collaboration, one that will use IBM's conversational artificial intelligence platform to achieve greater clarity and transparency on benefits and other related matters for Humana Employer Group members.

Also in February, Humana launched a pilot called Humana Care Support, formerly known as the Enterprise Clinical Operating Model, for a select group of Medicare Advantage members. Care Support offers customized, integrated and coordinated care management services.

The care team will have real-time access to a member's medical history and integrated clinician workflows through analytics and data integration from Microsoft's cloud technologies Azure and Power BI.

Earlier this month, Humana and the University of Houston announced the launch of a Value-based Care Specialization online program to support providers, academia and other business and industry professionals – as well as the public – in learning about the fundamentals and real-world application of value-based care.

ON THE RECORD

"This new brand reflects the fact that our care-services businesses are growing and maturing – such as our payer-agnostic senior-focused primary care centers – and we need a brand that speaks to how we put our members and patients at the center of everything we do," said Humana President and CEO Bruce D. Broussard.

"When we place the individual at the center, focus on their individual needs and personalize the care we deliver to them, we have our best opportunity to help them be well and achieve their best health."

"Our patients have grown accustomed to the highest level of care, and nothing will change that," said Reneé Buckingham, segment president of Humana's Care Delivery Organization.

"In fact, the transition to CenterWell Senior Primary Care reinforces our commitment to an integrated, value-based care model that puts our senior patients and their unique physical, social and emotional needs at the center of their own wellness journeys.

"Our highly trained and dedicated physicians and clinicians bring to life our patient-centered, whole-person approach to care, which is geared to individual needs and specifically designed to address chronic conditions, wellness and social needs that influence health."
 

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com