Insurer Humana pushes deeper into delivery of health care

Humana will buy part of Kindred Healthcare’s home health business, the latest example of a health insurer growing more involved in the delivery of care on top of handling the bills for it.

The insurer said Tuesday it will pay about $800 million in cash for a 40-percent stake in the business, which includes hospice care and serves about 130,000 patients daily. The remaining stake will be purchased by the private equity firms TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

Those firms also will acquire the rest of Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare Inc., which runs long-term acute care and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.

Humana, which already operates a home health business, said the deal will help it keep costs down, improve health and manage chronic conditions. CEO Bruce Broussard said in a prepared statement that care delivered at home is a “vital element” in improving the health of older people living with chronic conditions, which can include diabetes or heart disease.

Humana Inc., also based in Louisville, is one of the nation’s biggest providers of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the federal Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled. It also provides Medicare prescription drug coverage and offers commercial insurance.