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Maria Hughes, Humana’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, joined other business leaders in Louisville this week to talk about growth, talent acquisition and opportunities for 2018.

The panel discussion was hosted by Louisville Business First as part of its Grow Louisville event.

Maria said “it is vital to create a stimulating environment where diverse workers can be themselves and feel like each voice is heard and respected,” the newspaper reported. She also noted that “it is vital to attract the right talent that can fit well within a team structure.”

“It’s not just the mix, but making the mix work,” she said. “It’s having the environment in which people feel they can thrive.”

Click here to read the full article in Louisville Business First (subscription required).

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Forbes.com has reported on Humana’s value-based care report, noting that “As Humana Moves Doctors To Value-Based Pay, Medicare Costs Fall.”

“Humana’s shift from fee-for-service medicine to value-based payments for doctors is reducing costs and improving quality of care for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans,” the story said, citing the study.

The study found that “medical costs were 15% lower in Humana Medicare Advantage plans that paid physicians via value-based models last year compared to costs of those in traditional fee-for service Medicare,” the story noted.

Other highlights of the study include the fact that providers in value-based reimbursement model agreements with Humana had 26 percent higher Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) scores compared to providers in standard Medicare Advantage settings based on an internal attribution method. Also, Humana Medicare Advantage members affiliated with providers in value-based reimbursement model agreements experienced 6 percent fewer hospital inpatient admissions and 7 percent fewer emergency department visits than members in standard Medicare Advantage settings. The number of preventive screenings was 8 percent higher for breast cancer and 13 percent higher for colorectal cancer.

“The Humana study is the latest evidence of the potential value-based models have at slowing or reducing spending on Medicare,” Forbes wrote.

Read the full Forbes.com story here.

You can access the full value-based care report here.

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Humana has received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the sixth year in a row that Humana has achieved a perfect score.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that all our associates feel comfortable being their whole selves,” said Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer Maria Hughes. “Enabling and offering support to diverse communities is part of the foundation of Inclusion & Diversity at Humana.”

Humana’s LGBTQ Associates & Allies Network Resource Group, Pride, helps drive the inclusive culture the company strives for, dedicating itself to inspiring Humana associates and members to live full, proud lives.

The CEI scoring process evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs and public engagement with the LGBTQ community. Humana’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

For more information on the 2018 Corporate Equality Index, or to download a free copy of the report, visit www.hrc.org/cei.

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Maria Hughes, Humana’s Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, recently spoke with DiversityInc about the critical role that I&D plays and the perspective she brings to her job.

She noted that “in order for inclusion and diversity to be successful in our organization, it has to be connected to our values, sustainable and drive business outcomes.”

“Diversity is important, but it’s also a more narrow view by focusing on representation and differences like ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and religion,” she said. “We view inclusion as being much broader. It includes having a culture where all employees can thrive and are encouraged to reach their highest potential.

“While it’s important to have a workforce that represents the communities we serve, we also strive to have a culture that leverages differences to drive innovation, quality, and productivity,” she said. “Having leaders throughout the organization take personal accountability for inclusion is part of our culture evolution.”

Read the full interview here.

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On a beautiful October morning, the twice weekly Humana walking group was joined by a new participant, marathoner Kathrine Switzer. They peppered her with questions. What shoes does she wear? (She is an Adidas athlete.) What does she eat the night before a big run? (She loads up on carbs, but has also been trying to eat more protein, such as nut butters.) How does she handle aches, pains and injuries? (REST.)

Kathrine acknowledged that at age 70 she was the young one in the group, which includes a walker who will turn 90 in November and a couple of participants recovering from surgeries. After they all walked together, Kathrine stood in front of an even larger crowd and talked about how the body continues to improve as long as it is challenged.

“Look at those of you I walked with this morning,” she said. “When you started walking together, maybe you couldn’t go very far, but now you’re up to a mile or two or three.”

Kathrine regularly runs long distances, but during her presentation she said the SilverSneakers® Stretch class at the Louisville neighborhood location “killed” her, in the best way. “At any age, the body can get better… the more you do, the more you can do.””

Her message was well-received. One 84-year-old in the audience told Kathrine she had recently started running again. Kathrine applauded her and every other person in attendance who was getting up and getting moving.

“Every time you take a class here or every time you walk with your friends, you come back and you feel much more optimistic,” Kathrine said. “Suddenly everything becomes more positive and optimistic. That’s the way to go into your life.”

One of Kathrine’s next challenges is the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5. And she will have a new group of fans rooting for her from Louisville, Kentucky.

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