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Humana's Concentra sale shows shift in integration strategy

Insurer moving from occupational care to primary care

Humana's recent sale of Concentraits occupational health and wellness business, shows that the company intends to shift its strategy of integrating healthcare operations with its core insurance offerings, according to Louisville Business First.

Humana acquired Concentra in 2010 for $790 million, the article said. The occupational health and physical therapy company operates 300 standalone medical centers and 245 worksite medical facilities in 38 states. Humana's statement about the sale noted that Concentra treats more than 14 percent of the nation's work-related injuries.

At the time, the purchase fit into a larger strategy of providing low-cost healthcare services to Humana members, said Tom Noland, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications. However, he told Louisville Business First, Humana's integration efforts now target primary care instead of occupational care.

"We expect Humana will continue to invest in other primary care assets, including [medical service organizations], as we continue to expand our integrated care delivery model," Humana CEO Bruce Boussard said in the statement about the sale.

The deal did not come as a surprise. Humana first considered selling Concentra in October 2014, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. The insurer had already sold Concentra's toxicology and clinical laboratory business.

Once Humana named former investment banker Brian Kane as its chief financial officer, the industry expected the move, Leerink Partners Analyst Ana Gupta told the Associated Press. That gave Humana the impetus to consider selling its non-core business assets--and Concentra did not fit with Humana's core Medicare Advantage business, Gupta told the AP.

It's entirely possible that booming Medicare business could make Humana an acquisition target itself, especially among insurers that focus predominantly on employer-sponsored plans and want a piece of the growing Medicare Advantage market.

For more:
here's the Louisville Business First article
read the Humana statement
here's the Associated Press article

Related Articles:
Humana sells Concentra brand for $1 billion
Humana considering sale of Concentra
Booming Medicare business could make Humana an acquisition target