IIora and Humana find a niche with seniors, opening more clinics where they shop – Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) (blog)

After two years and three locations, a Boston-based health care company has done so well in King County, it is opening a fourth primary care facility.

Iora Health, in partnership with Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), opened a new health clinic at 1414 South 324 th Street in Federal Way earlier this month. The grand opening celebration is Oct. 25.

The Iora clinics are tailored specifically to seniors with a focus on personalized and preventative medical services and are designed exclusively for the 138,000 Humana Medicare Advantage members in Washington.

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The King County clinics, located in retail centers, respond to the need for easier access to care for seniors in Washington while at the same time aim to lower health care costs for patients and the health care system.

By adding a location in Federal Way, Iora is fleshing out its network to serve more of the senior population in King County, said Catherine Field, Humana’s market vice president for senior products in Washington.

Iora and Humana started its partnership in Washington in September 2014 when it opened two King County clinics – one in Shoreline and the other in Seattle’s Central District. That was quickly followed up with a Renton location in July 2015.

Iora also opened four other locations in Arizona and Colorado this month, which is part of a plan to eventually scale its model across the whole country and become, as The New York Times reported last year, a “kind of Starbucks for health care.”

This type of convenient care is a growing trend in the medical industry. The goal is to have more options for patients who are shopping around and looking for convenience. But, this has resulted in a hyper-competitive marketplace where the region’s biggest health care providers are battling against one another for patients.

The Iora clinics in Washington, however, differ from other retail clinics because they are going after a target audience – seniors – meaning there is plenty of room in the space for all of them, Field said.

“Walk-up clinics or urgent care isn’t really going to meet the needs of seniors,” Field said. “What you get with really good senior care is the ability to manage and facilitate care for folks with chronic conditions.”

Coral Garnick covers health care and retail for the Puget Sound Business Journal.

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