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Humana opens New Albany clinic as it builds up national primary care business for older adults

People stand together in front of a storefront that now houses a CenterWell Senior Primary Care clinic in New Albany.
Morgan Watkins
/
LPM
Humana is launching more CenterWell Senior Primary Care clinics in states across the country, including Kentucky and Indiana. People gathered Wednesday to celebrate the grand opening of a clinic in New Albany.

Humana is rapidly expanding its CenterWell Senior Primary Care business, which runs clinics in more than a dozen states. It held a grand opening this week for its newest operation in Southern Indiana.

At the New Albany Plaza shopping center Wednesday morning, CenterWell staffers gave tours of the new space. Dr. Misha Rhodes, CenterWell’s chief medical officer in Kentucky and Indiana, handed out roses to visitors.

She said clinics like this one take a holistic approach to serving older adults. One thing that distinguishes them from many other primary care offices is how much time they devote to patients during their appointments, she said.

“On average our providers will see patients for 45 minutes up to an hour, which is a lot different from the typical 15 to 20 minutes,” Rhodes said.

They also have a team that helps patients with non-medical concerns, such as food insecurity or transportation problems, and connects them with community resources.

CenterWell clinics give older adults opportunities to socialize with each other as well. Each facility has an activity center that hosts events, like bingo or tai chi. Employees said those are open to all older adults in the community.

Nick Judd, CenterWell’s market president for Kentucky and Indiana, said the events can help reduce social isolation among older adults.

“Just getting together with others in the community is … really helpful for overall health,” he said.

Social isolation and loneliness affect health outcomes for people of all ages, according to the World Health Organization.

For older people in particular, the WHO reports a “large body of research” shows isolation can seriously affect their physical and mental health, as well as how long they live.

Humana is best known as a major player in the health insurance industry, but the Louisville-based Fortune 500 company is building up its primary care business fast.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care plans to open up to 50 new clinics a year through 2025. And it already has over 250 centers in operation in the South and Midwest, as well as in western states like Nevada.

This summer alone, CenterWell launched clinics in New Albany, Clarksville and west Louisville. The west Louisville location’s grand opening is planned for next month.

Judd said offering older adults high-value care helps the patients – and Humana.

“When people are healthier and their medical costs are stabilized or go down, we actually do better as a business,” he said.

The CenterWell clinics are open to patients with health insurance through Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage – including, but not limited to, Humana’s own Medicare Advantage plans.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec, Inc. and the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation.

Morgan is LPM's health reporter. Email Morgan at mwatkins@lpm.org.