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To bolster its provider network, Kentucky based health insurer Humana Inc. (HUM - Analyst Report) recently renewed its Florida Medicare and commercial network contract with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), one of the leading providers of healthcare services in Nashville. The two entities had previously signed the Florida network contract in Mar 2011 that was scheduled to expire in Aug this year. The contract is renewed for another two year term.

As per the previous two-year Florida Medicare and commercial network contract, individuals enrolled in Humana’s Florida health plan could access inpatient and outpatient hospital services from HCA. Now, with the contract renewal, Humana Medicare and commercial members as well as Care Plus Health Plans Medicare members will continue to receive these services at HCA’s affiliated hospitals and medical facilities. Care Plus is the Miami based Medicare Advantage Heath Maintenance Organization (HMO) of Humana. Humana’s statewide health care network and Care Plus provider networks have been associated with HCA’s affiliated Florida hospitals for the past eighteen and eight years respectively.

According to the new statewide network agreement, these services will be provided to more than one-million Humana members at around 40 HCA affiliated hospitals in regions like South Florida, Tampa Bay, Central Florida, Jacksonville and Northwest Florida.

Thus as soon as an individual enrolls in Humana’s medical and health benefit plans, they will automatically be able to avail services from HCA’s network of hospitals and medical facilities statewide. Thus the contract enables Humana to present its existing and prospective health plan clients with added benefits and expand the company’s Florida network.

Humana currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Among other healthcare companies, Aetna Inc. (AET - Analyst Report), Centene Corp (CNC - Snapshot Report) and WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG - Snapshot Report) each carry a favorable Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).  

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