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Kentucky to Offer In-Home Urgent Medical Care for State Employees

New Program Intended to Improve Health Outcomes While Saving Money for State Employees and Taxpayers

Category:

Thursday, November 1, 2007 9:11 am EDT

Dateline:

FRANKFORT, Ky.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028

FRANKFORT, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Beginning in early 2008, the Commonwealth of Kentucky through its health-plan administrator, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), and Carena Inc. will begin phasing in a new service for state employees and their dependents: medical house calls. Under the program, Carena doctors will treat state employees and their family members with urgent health care needs at their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With this new program, the Commonwealth of Kentucky will accomplish several important objectives, said Personnel Cabinet Secretary Brian Crall. First and foremost, we will improve access to medical care for state employees and their families in the evening, overnight and on weekends, when many medical offices are closed. Also, the program will eliminate unnecessary trips to hospital emergency rooms, which will save money for state employees and Kentucky taxpayers.

The new service, provided by Carena Inc., is not a substitute for primary care, nor does it replace appropriate use of the emergency room. Rather, it is a bridge between the two that provides medical care for urgent health needs when the patients primary care provider is not available, such as after hours or on weekends. Carena house calls typically last an hour, providing ample time for evidence-based medical care, as well as health-risk identification and education. If a Carena-contracted physician determines additional treatment is needed, he or she refers the patient to the right resource, whether it is a generalist, specialist or emergency care.

Were excited to bring our new model of care and education services to Kentucky, said Ralph C. Derrickson, president and chief executive officer of Carena. We look forward to building strong relationships with the Kentucky medical community and working together to address the health needs of Commonwealth employees and their families.

With the launch of this in-home urgent care program in early 2008, Kentucky will become the first state to offer the Carena program to its employees. The program will be phased in, offered initially in Louisville and the surrounding area.

Founded in 2000, Carena delivers urgent health care to employers, such as Microsoft and Costco. At Microsoft, the pilot program has helped avoid unnecessary ER visits and has been well received by employees and their families. Based on survey results, 99 percent of employees who received house calls said they were satisfied with the experience.

Since Humana began administering the Commonwealth of Kentucky health plan in 2006, we have continually sought out best-in-class health care partners, who enable Humana to offer the most effective benefits administration to state employees and their families, said Jeff Bringardner, president of Humana-Kentucky. Carena has, in a relatively short period of time, demonstrated that its in-home health care program delivers excellent results for the customers they serve. So were excited about adding this program for state employees early next year.

About Carena

Carena, Inc., www.CarenaMD.com, offers a new model for health care delivery its physicians treat patients at their work or home. This unique point-of-patient model eliminates the cost of medically unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency room. By providing unmatched access to high-quality care and information, Carena helps employees manage their health, which increases employee productivity and reduces overall health care costs for employees and their employers.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services through traditional and consumer-choice plans to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings
  • Most recent investor conference presentations
  • Quarterly earnings news releases
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors)
  • Corporate Governance Information

Contact:

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Elizabeth Johnson, 502-564-0358
elizabetha.johnson@ky.gov
or
Humana Corporate Communications
Jim Turner, 502-476-2119
jturner2@humana.com
or
Scoville PR (Carena)
John Williams, 206-625-0075
jwilliams@scovillepr.com