LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Louisville-based Humana Inc. plans to create the country’s largest hospice operator by acquiring Curo Health Services in a deal that involves the same private equity firms that are helping Humana buy Kindred Healthcare.

Humana and the private equity firms -- TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe – said Monday that they have agreed to pay $1.4 billion for Curo, which is based in Mooresville, North Carolina and provides hospice care to patients at 245 locations in 22 states.  

Humana and the private equity firms plan to combine Curo with the hospice business of Kindred Healthcare, according to a news release.

Humana, an insurer, has been becoming more of a healthcare provider in recent years as a strategy to further its main business, selling Medicare Advantage plans to seniors and managing all aspects of their health.

The company has been amassing primary care clinics in key Medicare markets like Texas and Florida, for example.

Humana, along with the private equity firms, plans to buy Louisville-based Kindred Healthcare for about $820 million in a deal expected to close this summer.

Humana will take over Kindred’s “at home” division – the portion of the company that provides in-home health care and hospice services.

Acquiring Curo is an opportunity for Humana “to be a leader in managing the continuum of home health, palliative care and hospice in an integrated fashion, creating a positive and differentiated experience for patients and their families – as well as their care providers,” according to the news release.

The Curo deal is expected to close this summer after the Kindred deal, the companies said.

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has reportedly been in talks to acquire Humana. Since 2011, the two companies have partnered to sell low-cost Medicare prescription drug plans to seniors.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.