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Helping others lead happier, healthier lives is something our company does each and every day. So it should come as no surprise that we’re gaining recognition in the communities we serve.

In the past few months, Humana was named the Healthiest Employer at local events in Louisville, South Florida, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Atlanta. The honor was bestowed on a small number of organizations committed to creating a healthy workplace for employees—and Humana ranked highest in the largest employer category at each event.

Key considerations for the award included culture and leadership commitment, associate and dependent access to programs, planning and communications, and program offerings like health assessments, biometric screenings, rewards and incentives, coaching, and more.

This is the first year Humana has received this award in the Phoenix, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Humana previously won the top award in 2016 in Louisville and South Florida.

Humana was also recently named a Platinum award winner of the Worksite Wellness Award by the Worksite Wellness Council of Louisville. This is the fifth consecutive year the company received this highest distinction – in addition to receiving the prestigious Fleur De Lis Award for extra-large companies in 2016. Humana was also named a Platinum Award winner by the Healthy Arizona Worksite Program, one of the first companies to achieve the new level introduced this year.

These awards serve as further evidence of the progress we’re making as an associate population.

“We’re a community that’s fiercely committed not only to the health of those we serve, but also to that of the teammates we work alongside each day,” said Tim State, Vice President of Associate Well-being. “Our well-being benefits, programs and experiences ways we bring that promise to life every day.”

Zoilabella Calo, Consumer Engagement Consultant, and Jeri Cunningham, Manager of Engagement, for Arizona’s Employer Group team accept the Healthiest Employers Award in Phoenix on behalf of Humana.
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Bruce BroussardIn a series of LinkedIn Influencer blog posts, Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard shares insights and ideas about the future of health care and discusses the importance of working together to improve the health-care system as well as our own health and well-being. His latest — Success depends on more than time and money — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

Time and money. The drive to lower costs and outpace the competition is bigger than ever. No matter what industry you’re in, you feel it. Amazon is doing to retail what Henry Ford did to the buggy industry 120 years ago.

As business leaders, we’ve always prioritized time, financial performance, and quality, which many view as the three primary dimensions of business success. From time-to-market for new products to growth in revenues, businesses are measured by these fundamental results.

Time and money make you sharper; and they challenge us as leaders. Mastering them can make you stand out from the competition. As a leader, you’re out to grow your business and maximize the time spent doing so.

But those two dimensions can only do so much. What happens when prioritizing time and money comes at the expense of quality?

When quality loses

One tragic answer to this question was the 1986 Challenger space shuttle crash. After a thorough inquiry, investigators blamed the disaster on the failure of an O-ring designed to prevent hot gas from leaking through a joint in the solid rocket booster.

Some of the people who worked on the project said they knew in advance about the O-ring quality issue. But there was pressure to meet the launch date and stay within budget, and critics have argued that NASA lacked a culture that would have encouraged engineers to stop the production process and fix the O-ring problem.

The NASA example shows that a culture of hierarchy can make people feel uncomfortable raising concerns. But if there is a problem, shouldn’t the culture foster an environment to solve it?

People must feel like they have institutional support when they speak up about something wrong. In business, it’s imperative that companies develop and nurture a culture that encourages everyone to point out quality deficiencies.

The O-ring example shows that when you don’t have an environment that encourages personal accountability, you won’t promote enterprise-wide thinking. And the enterprise will suffer for it.

Be accountable

Too often, employees don’t speak up when they should or when they don’t feel there is a welcome environment for new ideas. There may be cultural or financial pressures. They may not want to jeopardize the results they’re being measured by, or they don’t want to slow down the team.

If you want to solve problems and achieve quality in your organization without sacrificing your financial responsibilities and your timelines, you need a culture where people feel empowered to speak up. Like the manufacturing industry of the twentieth century, where often a single factory worker could stop the assembly line, a culture must empower its employees to speak up and make sure a job is done right.

Going beyond your role

I recently sat down with my Chief Information Officer (CIO) to pose the question: what really determines quality?

His response was enlightening. He used the example of a software engineer who develops an app, makes sure it meets the specs, and delivers it to the team. But he noted that while the process delivered the app, the engineer has a responsibility to stay involved. What if the app doesn’t generate any momentum? What if hardly anyone uses it? The engineer must embrace personal accountability, which is getting people to use it. It’s not just about whether the engineer delivered the app to specs, but whether people used it and it was successful.

That’s not only personal accountability; it’s also creating an optimistic environment where employees are challenged to go beyond the status quo and drive quality into the organization.

The real world

My industry, health care, is under intense pressure to reduce costs and deliver even faster access to physicians and other care providers. Making the most of time and money are important, but in health care, success will be determined by the health of our nation, not just our individual enterprises.

Quality in health care means better clinical outcomes and a better physician/patient experience. Our accountability is to the consumers, providers, and partners who use our systems, not to the systems themselves. By creating a culture of empowerment, aligned around the health of the individual, our industry can help build a healthier country.

As a leader, you play a big role in setting the tone for a culture that embraces quality. Time and money will always bring pressure, but that third dimension – quality — is non-negotiable. Fostering personal accountability in your organization and promoting a culture that embraces quality and new ideas will benefit customers and create a more cohesive workforce unified around a common purpose. In the end, accountability won’t be an option. It will become a welcome obligation.

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We appreciate the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 recognition of the negative consumer consequences of the health insurance tax, which causes Americans to pay more in premiums.  This is particularly true for seniors who depend on Medicare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plans for quality and affordable health coverage and have experienced reduced benefits and higher costs as a result of the tax.

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Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard has joined with more than 150 CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies and signed on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

By joining, CEOs are pledging to take action to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, where employees feel encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best practices can be shared, the coalition said in a news release.

Bruce will bring valuable perspective to the group, given Humana’s longstanding history of leadership in diversity and inclusion. Humana has received a perfect score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index for the past five years, and the company was named a 2017 DiversityInc Noteworthy Company. Earlier this year, Humana ranked No. 40 on CR Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens, moving up 25 spots from last year.

One of Humana’s core values is Cultivate Uniqueness, which encourages associates to find ways to connect with one another and consumers. By respecting one another, listening with an open mind, and seeking different perspectives, richer solutions emerge. Humana’s Bold Goal is a good example, with the company’s diverse associate base helping make the communities we serve 20 percent healthier by 2020.

“Humana serves millions of members, and each of them is unique,” Bruce said. “By reflecting that diversity in our associate population, we can meet our members where they are on their health journeys and better understand their needs. Our associates’ vast variety of backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs makes us a stronger, more nimble and more empathetic company. I’m looking forward to working with other CEOs in the group as we share and learn from one another.”

Each signatory has committed to taking the following steps to increase diversity and foster inclusion within their respective organizations and the larger business community:

1. Continue to cultivate workplaces that support open dialogue on complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion: Companies will create and maintain environments, platforms, and forums where their employees feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives.

2. Implement and expand unconscious bias education: Companies commit to rolling out and/or expanding unconscious bias education within their companies in the form that best fits their specific culture and business. By helping employees recognize and minimize any potential blind spots, companies can better facilitate more open and honest conversations.

3. Share best practices: Companies commit to working together to evolve existing diversity strategies by sharing successes and challenges with one another.

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ recognizes that companies are at different points in their journey to diversity and that companies – like Humana — that are already implementing some or all of the actions can use this as an opportunity to drive greater engagement within their own programs, contribute best practices, and mentor others.

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Kathrine Switzer, who is serving as Humana’s health and well-being ambassador by participating in the National Senior Games, was profiled in TIME.com this week. Switzer was the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, in 1967, and ran the race again this year at age 70.

She talked to TIME about her 50th anniversary, her upcoming participation in the Senior Games, healthy aging, making fitness a priority, and overcoming stereotypes.

“Switzer, who built a career on challenging gender stereotypes in sports, said she is now focused on tackling ‘the frontier of aging,’” TIME wrote. “She will participate this week in the National Senior Games presented by Humana, a competitive sporting event for men and women over the age of 50 where she plans to run the 10K road race.”

Switzer said, “The biggest tip is to realize you’re never too old, big, slow, unattractive — anything else — to be an athlete because the body always wants to be an athlete, and it will respond to any amount of work in a positive way.”

Read the full story here.

See other Senior Games coverage here:

Costco Connection article featuring 2016 Humana Game Changer Vivian Stancil

KNXV-TV (Phoenix) segment featuring Chris Wallace

WDRB-TV (Louisville) segments featuring Rose Roylo

WTVT-TV (Tampa Bay) segment featuring Robert Rusbosin

Montgomery Community Media article featuring Kathleen Fisken

WNCT-TV (Greenville, NC) segment featuring Fay and Irma Bond

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