Cano Health is primed for expansion, as it prepares to go public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal, announced in November, that values the company at roughly $4.4 billion and provides about $935 million to grow and pay down debt.
Going forward, partnerships with senior living providers are of keen interest.
“We can provide a critical and significant impact for many communities in guaranteeing high-quality, comprehensive primary care,” Cano Health Founder and CEO Dr. Marlow Hernandez told Senior Housing News. “So, it’s definitely something that we will be looking forward to doing.”
Cano Health was founded in 2009 and today provides care to more than 103,000 members through a network of 72 medical centers. Most of those are located in Florida, with others in Texas and Nevada.
But Cano Health is eyeing new geographies and is “a lot more than just a bricks-and-mortar” company, Hernandez told SHN. He considers Cano a population health provider, because the company combines tailored primary care with preventive and other routine services — including support for the social determinants of health — to improve health outcomes for older adults and reduce the frequency of costly interventions such as hospitalizations.
This promise of better results at lower costs has proven attractive to Humana and other health insurance providers, which make access to Cano Health a part of their products, notably Medicare Advantage plans.
This basic business model is similar to peer companies such as Oak Street Health and CareMax, several of which are also going public through SPAC transactions or traditional IPOs. As they grow, these companies may seek out closer alignment with senior living providers; already, Oak Street has started to work with assisted living providers in Illinois.
For Cano Health, more formalized relationships with senior living providers make sense, Hernandez said.
“Quite a number of our patients live in such communities,” he said. “Most common would be senior-focused housing developments, apartment communities. We do have some in assisted living and independent living.”
Cano Health does already have locations in four Century Village active adult retirement communities. And, a significant proportion of its patients are lower income and dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, so they may live in Section 8 or other government-subsidized housing, including age-restricted buildings, Hernandez noted.
Some senior living providers are seeking to serve a middle-market price point by creating more apartment-style, low-acuity communities, and are looking for ways to bring in health care through partnerships. Cano Health’s model and mission make the company well-suited to be such a partner, able to provide five-star primary care at a one-star price, according to Hernandez.
“The paradigm shift is you can maintain health and improve health and longevity and quality of life — we’re doing that with all these wraparound services, without any incremental costs, that is the real difference,” he said.
He is even interested in co-locating a Cano Health center in a senior living community, perhaps with a shared wellness space where Cano could provide classes.
“The initiative, I suppose, to have more clinics within these senior communities is something that I think naturally happens as a result of the capacity and willingness of the builders and their business models,” he said.
Viewed in a certain light, Cano Health and similar companies represent a threat to senior living providers, by providing coordinated care that enables older adults to age in place in their own homes. But Hernandez does not consider senior living providers as competitors, emphasizing that Cano Health aims to provide older adults with the best quality of life possible, irrespective of where they live.
While the exact nature of senior living partnerships for Cano Health is an open question, Hernandez is confident that they will take shape.
“We work with senior communities on a daily basis, and this is not really hypothetical for us,” he said. “I would welcome a conversation with any developer or operator in the space that serves that general senior demographic.”