Health insurer Humana is on an acquisition roll, bringing yet another home health care provider into its fold. They just snarfed up One Homecare Solutions, which goes by Onehome, for an undisclosed sum. Humana seems to be downplaying the purchase, commenting that they “expect the acquisition to have an immaterial impact on yearly earnings.” So what’s the big deal, then?
The big deal—to us, anyway—is that just recently, Humana bought out the remaining stake in the large home-based health services provider Kindred at Home for $5.7 billion. And now Onehome is joining the party. The company provides a range of home-based care services with a focus on Medicare Advantage members: It coordinates needs of patients, physicians, hospitals, and health plans for home-based patient care.
The Dive story brings up a great point in that Humana is majorly expanding its footprint in the home health care category by bringing this vast portfolio of direct care services under its umbrella with these acquisitions. And they’re not the only insurer doing it. Cigna just bought up telehealth provider MDLive and, in January, UnitedHealthcare’s Optum branch announced their intention to buy Atrius Health, a non-profit physician group based in Massachusetts. With all of this merging and acquisitioning, the distinctions between insurers and providers are blurring almost to the point of meaninglessness.
The Dive story notes that “Humana says it’s looking to develop a new value-based home health model that cuts costs while improving outcomes,” and quotes president of Humana’s home business, Susan Diamond, as calling Onehome a “key component of that strategy.”
So, while there may not be a “material” impact this year, we think that her comment implies that Humana does see a payoff in the not-too-distant future. And… not for nothin’, but we find ourselves constantly reminded that an insurers’ gain is not necessarily in the best interest of their members.