Humana to begin offering hospital-level care at home, including imaging services

Humana has inked a partnership to provide hospital-level care to its members at home, including imaging services.

The Louisville, Kentucky-based commercial insurer is teaming with home care provider DispatchHealth to make the offering happen, the companies announced on Monday. Through the pact, they plan to target patients living with multiple chronic conditions, including COPD, cellulitis, kidney infections and more.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services helped the way for the partnership back in November, when it announced a new waiver program to allow providers to offer acute care at home. Humana and Dispatch believe their partnership is the first such U.S. home care program involving a national health insurer.

“Humana and DispatchHealth are focused on improving the overall home care experience and health outcomes by allowing individuals to remain at home while also empowering the medical team to identify and address patient needs, including social determinants of health,” Susan Diamond, president of Humana’s Home Business, said on Feb. 1.

DispatchHealth works with outside mobile imaging vendors to deliver such services at home for patients in its Advanced Care program in Denver and Tacoma, Washington. The partnership will initially focus on those two cities, with plans for expansion in Texas, Arizona and Nevada later this year. With the Humana agreement, mobile imaging providers that contract with the payer will be activated for such patients, according to a spokeswoman. Humana said it’s seen a “substantial increase” in demand for in-home care since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with older adults hoping to avoid exposure at hospitals.

First founded in 2013, DispatchHealth has delivered high-acuity care to more than 220,000 patients at home, saving some $227 million in medical costs, according to an announcement. Along with its Advanced Care offering, the firm also offers on-demand care to treat simple complex injuries and illnesses now in 29 cities, with plans for further growth.