Missouri-based Mercy and leading health and well-being company Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) have signed an agreement to expand patient access to virtual health resources as part of a broader, joint effort to provide more holistic care to Humana Medicare Advantage members. These goals are especially vital given the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new initiative offers convenient care options for Humana Medicare Advantage members who are patients of Mercy’s more than 4,000 integrated primary and specialty care clinicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Now in effect, the value-based agreement expands upon Mercy and Humana’s existing network contract, which continues to provide in-network access at all Mercy hospitals, outpatient facilities, and physician practices.
Key features of the collaboration include:
Mercy Virtual: Humana Medicare Advantage members now have in-network access to this comprehensive virtual resource, often called a “hospital without beds.” Staffed with more than 300 clinicians, it offers 24/7 care, such as virtual primary care in the home. Mercy Virtual’s services are an innovative, patient-centric model that provides care to patients when and where they require it.
Value-Based Care: Mercy and Humana have entered into a contract to provide care that addresses the health of the whole patient. Payment to Mercy physicians by Humana is linked to providing quality care in order to improve the patient experience and health outcomes. This differs from traditional “fee-for-service” models, by which payment is based on the quantity of services clinicians provide.
“Mercy is committed to working with our communities to improve health care while also reducing the total cost of care,” said Shannon Sock, Mercy executive vice president, chief strategist and chief financial officer. “Strong payor relationships, like this one with Humana, will help in our long-term journey to provide more seamless care for our patients. Together we can make a real difference for patients, which is especially critical during this pandemic.”
“This agreement unites two organizations striving to offer care that is more accessible, personalized and coordinated – a commitment that is more important than ever right now,” said Jeremy Gaskill, Humana regional Medicare president. “We’re pleased to broaden our efforts to improve the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve by teaming up with Mercy, an organization that shares our dedication to innovation in health care.”
Humana has an extensive and growing value-based care presence. As of Dec. 31, 2020, Humana has more than 2.7 million individual Medicare Advantage and commercial members who are cared for by more than 67,000 primary care physicians in more than 1,000 value-based relationships across 43 states and Puerto Rico. As of January 2021, Humana’s total Medicare Advantage membership is more than 4.8 million members, which includes members affiliated with providers in value-based and standard Medicare Advantage settings.