Share price of
) has inched up 0.4% to $114.20 per share within a day of the
collaborative Accountable Care deal with Health4. This news is
set to drive bullish sentiment on the stock as it marks Humana's
relentless effort to provide high-quality health care at an
affordable price to medical members.
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After the back-to-back Accountable Care deals with St. Luke's
University Health Network and Regional HealthPlus in Dec 2013,
Humana has signed a similar deal with the clinically integrated
health care delivery model, Health4, co-owned by OhioHealth and
Medical Group of Ohio (MGO). While the last two deals were aimed
to help the company foray into the Pennsylvania and Spartanburg
areas, respectively, this initiative with Health4 is intended to
provide high-end health care to Humana's 41,000 Medicare
Advantage members in Columbus and Central Ohio. Thus, the company
stays adept in its service enhancement strategies.
Although Health4 is a relatively new player in the industry with
operations in Ohio since 2010, it is a prominent name when it
comes to providing premium health care to over 160,000 patients.
In its small span of operations, Health4 has formed a 34-county
network across central Ohio consisting of more than 2300 MGO
physicians who provide patient-centric care. Thus, the deal with
Health4 will benefit Humana's central Ohio members by delivering
better patient co-ordination, cost-effective care, improved
outcome, and as a result enhanced patient experience.
To offer superior health care to patients, this Accountable Care
arrangement will resort to a number of population management
tools viz. predictive analytics and chronic care, disease
management and wellness programs. Better patient experience will
boost customer confidence and will help Humana gain more members
in the region.
Humana's Accountable Care initiative is similar to an Accountable
Care Organization (ACO). An ACO is a collaboration of
health care providers who voluntarily form alliances to provide
coordinated high quality care to patients at reduced costs. In
line with the objectives of an ACO, the aforementioned deal
should mutually benefit both Humana and Health4. Thus, the
collaboration will not only benefit Humana members but Health4
patients will also receive enhanced care, thus, preserving the
principal goal of an ACO of improving overall health care in the
Humana currently consists of 33,000 primary care physicians and
is in Accountable Care associations with 900 organizations. We
believe the strengthening of Humana's health care services in
central Ohio will enhance the membership base of the company,
thereby paving the way for more revenue generation.
Humana currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, some
better-ranked stocks in the healthcare services space include
China Cord Blood Corporation
). While Chemed sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Aetna and
China Cord carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).