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Humana's (HUM) CenterWell Sets Foot in Asheville With New Centers

Humana Inc.’s HUM brand CenterWell Senior Primary Care unveiled its expansion endeavor in Asheville through the opening of two senior-focused primary care centers. The unit already mentioned the North Carolina city as one of its targeted debut locations while unveiling its 2024 expansion plans at the beginning of the year.

Named CenterWell River Hills, the first center of Asheville is already operational and started accepting patients in April. Patients need to be enrolled in Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, which is the criteria for admission in CenterWell locations across North Carolina.

The new center is equipped with board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, medical assistants and operational support staff, who are well-trained to provide comprehensive care for addressing the extensive range of physical, social and emotional needs of the senior population. This whole-person approach followed by the CenterWell locations enables physicians and nurse practitioners to devote up to 50% more time to each patient than at the office of the traditional doctor.

Therefore, the recent announcement is expected to eliminate healthcare barriers in underserved areas and provide relief to the senior community of Asheville. In  CenterWell North Carolina locations, patients can avail services provided by nurse care coordinators, behavioral health specialists, a clinical pharmacist and referral specialists.

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Thereby, expansion plans similar to the latest one that result in a growing number of senior-focused primary care centers may attract more senior patients to avail the highly beneficial services suite of the CenterWell brand and drive revenues of the CenterWell segment. And to get access to such services, more individuals may be prompted to opt for Humana’s Medicare plans.

The resultant benefit of such enrollment may be reaped in the form of growing membership for Humana. Contract wins and renewals from federal and state authorities or fruitification of expansion plans continue to boost membership growth and fetch improved premiums, which remain the most significant contributor to a health insurer’s top line. As of Mar 31, the company’s Medicare Advantage membership improved 7.7% year over year.

CenterWell Senior Primary Care, along with Conviva Care Center, forms the Primary Care Organization of Humana, which served 318,000 seniors across roughly 300 centers as of Mar 31. The centers operate in 15 states and plans remain in place to open 30-50 new centers annually through 2025. An aging U.S. population also substantiates the timeliness of CenterWell’s promising expansion plans.

Shares of Humana have gained 1.2% in the past three months against the industry’s 1.4% decline. HUM currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

 

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks in the Medical space are LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. LMAT, Elanco Animal Health Incorporated ELAN and Lantheus Holdings, Inc. LNTH. LeMaitre Vascular currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Elanco and Lantheus carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

LeMaitre Vascular’s earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 10.12%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for LMAT’s 2024 earnings indicates a 31.1% rise while the same for revenues implies an improvement of 11.3% from the corresponding year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for LMAT’s earnings has moved 6.6% north in the past 60 days.

The bottom line of Elanco beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed the mark once, the average surprise being 80.19%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ELAN’s 2024 earnings indicates 4.5% growth while the same for revenues implies an improvement of 1.9% from the corresponding year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for ELAN’s earnings has moved 2.2% north in the past 60 days.

Lantheus’ earnings outpaced estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 13.61%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for LNTH’s 2024 earnings indicates a 14.1% rise while the same for revenues implies an improvement of 17.2% from the corresponding year-ago reported figure. The consensus mark for LNTH’s earnings has moved 8.2% north in the past 60 days.

Shares of LeMaitre Vascular, Elanco and Lantheus have gained 16%, 15.5% and 31.3%, respectively, in the past three months.

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