Humana to narrow focus outside insurance with Concentra sale

Humana plans to sell occupational health care provider Concentra for about $1.06 billion, as the health insurer refines its focus on providing patient care.

The Louisville, Ky., company said Monday it will sell Concentra to a joint venture between specialty hospital operator Select Medical Holdings Corp. and the private equity fund Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe XII LP. Humana will then use proceeds from the deal to buy back stock.

The insurer bought Concentra in late 2010 for $790 million in its first broad foray into health care delivery in almost two decades. Concentra, which was privately held when it was purchased, provides occupational health, urgent care and physical therapy services to employers across the country.

Humana bought the company as part of a push to expand care to its members, but CEO Bruce Broussard said Monday in a statement that Concentra's operations didn't align with the insurer's strategy "as well as we had originally anticipated."

The insurer said that primary care businesses like doctor practices and clinics that it has acquired since the Concentra deal are better suited for Humana's focus.

Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note that the Concentra business didn't fit well with Humana's core Medicare Advantage business. She added that the move was expected after former investment bank executive Brian Kane became Humana's chief financial officer last year, and the insurer's management raised the possibility of selling non-core business assets.

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