Jody Bilney talks to Forbes about health, communication and shared goals

For a health and well-being company, successfully talking with consumers means keeping their health top of mind, using clear language, fostering a culture of wellness, and letting them know your goals are the same, according to Jody Bilney, Humana’s Chief Consumer Officer.

She spoke recently with Forbes about the challenges and opportunities for healthcare marketers.

“Healthcare is a terrific industry in that it is one of the few where the motives of the company, in this case Humana, are perfectly aligned with the interests of our members,” Jody said. “If we can help our members be healthier, they will be happier, and the healthier our members are, the less it will cost us, and the more we can invest in growth.”

She also said it’s important to communicate clearly, with language that’s not vague or intimidating, and noted Humana’s efforts to update the way the company speaks with members.

“We would use the term ‘drug formulary’ instead of something like ‘list of drugs,’” she said. “Another example, we would say we would ‘investigate that claim’ versus just explaining that we had to ‘look into the claim.’”

Gaining a member’s trust is important if a health plan hopes to promote better choices.

“Your health circumstance is a consequence of decisions that you make every day (how much you move, what you eat, etc.). There is a way that we can help to create a culture that is centered on reminding the consumer about the hundreds of decisions they can make every day,” Jody said.

And she said it’s important to realize that the word “health” doesn’t mean the same to everyone.

“Over 75% of our business is with people 65 and older,” she said. “The definition of health is different among the 65+ cohort. For a Millennial, being ‘healthy’ might mean looking good. For somebody 65+ their definition is ‘to not be unhealthy.’”

The conversation should be around “how important it is to be able to go to a grandchild’s play…or to do their errands. We are focusing on the benefits of good health and helping inspire people to live healthier lives, on their terms.”

Read the full article here.

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