LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare is working with investment banks to explore selling itself to a bigger company or private equity firm, according to a report by news agency Reuters on Friday.

Citing anonymous sources, the report said Kindred is “still in the early stages” of the “sale process,” which was prompted by the company’s high debt load and worrisome dependence on revenue from Medicare.

Kindred spokeswoman Susan Moss said in an email that the company doesn’t comment on rumors, but she said Kindred “is working with advisors and engaging with interested parties” as part of a plan announced last year to exit the skilled nursing business.

Kindred provides home health and hospice services and operates long-term acute care and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals, as well as assisted living facilities.

The company is in the midst of expanding its headquarters campus at 680 S. 4th Street with a new six-story office building. In 2014, Kindred said it had about 1,200 headquarters employees, a figure that would grow by about 500 in the years following the building’s opening.

With about $7 billion in annual revenue, Kindred is one of three Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Kentucky. The others are Humana and Yum! Brands, both based in Louisville.

Kindred's sale would immediately raise concerns about losing white-collar, corporate jobs as a new owner would likely seek to cut costs or reduce overlapping functions.

Louisville private equity investor Jonathan Blue tweeted Friday that Kindred's sale would be "another huge blow to the corporate community business base in Louisville."

One potential suitor for Kindred, according to Reuters, is Humana, which has its main office building less than a mile away.

Health insurers like Humana may see acute care acquisitions as a way to diversify their businesses, the report said.

Humana spokesman Tom Noland declined to comment.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.