health-care system

David Nash, M.D., a member of Humana’s Board of Directors, recently addressed the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). He discussed a project he’s been working on with Humana to apply population health concepts to real people in communities around the United States.

Watch the video here.

Dr. Nash is the founding dean of the Jefferson College of Population Health in Philadelphia and has worked in health policy and population health sciences for nearly three decades. Dr. Nash still provides clinical patient care as an internist.

Read more about Dr. Nash here.

Read Full Article

Humana’s President and CEO Bruce Broussard will discuss health care transformation and innovation at AHIP’s Medicare Conference in Washington, D.C., next week.

He’ll talk about the role health plans play in helping Medicare Advantage (MA) members achieve their best health, as well as offer his thoughts on the future of health care and the importance of integrated care.

He shared some of his thoughts ahead of the event, and you can read that Q&A here.

 

Read Full Article

The most highly rated TV programs feature frequent ageist language and under-representation of seniors and could have impacts on health, according to research from an ongoing partnership between Humana and the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at University of Southern California’s (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Led by Stacy L. Smith, Ph.D., USC’s study analyzed 1,609 speaking characters in the most popular Nielsen-rated television shows that aired between June 1, 2016, and May 31, 2017, to determine how characters aged 60 and over are portrayed. In tandem, Humana conducted a quantitative survey of people aged 60 and over to explore their thoughts on aging, specifically to understand which attributes are directly linked to better health.

Both studies examined ageism, and the results indicate that it potentially has a negative impact not only on optimism, self-esteem and confidence, but also the physical and mental health of aging Americans.

The research also finds that among seniors who experience frequent ageism, optimists have far fewer unhealthy days, regardless of the amount of ageism they experience. This suggests one way to combat the negative impact of ageism is to be more optimistic.

A deeper analysis of the findings revealed:

Even in the highest-rated television programs, aging characters are underrepresented and stereotypically portrayed.

  • Only 9.4 percent of all speaking characters were 60 years of age or over – despite seniors representing 19.9 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2015 U.S. Census.
  • Stereotypical, ageist language is prevalent in the shows. Some choice quotes include: “Things just sound creepier when you’re old,” and “You like the color? It’s called ‘ancient ivory,’ like you.”
  • Of shows featuring a main senior character, 41 percent contained one or more ageist comments. Of those series with ageist comments, 62.5 percent had remarks that came from characters speaking to a senior, while 68.8 percent contained self-deprecating dialogue delivered by seniors to themselves.
  • Shows without a writer or showrunner age 60 or over were more likely to feature ageism than shows with a writer or showrunner age 60 or over.

There are inherent consequences to these stereotyped portrayals of aging Americans – including a potentially negative impact on seniors’ sense of self-esteem, confidence and optimism, as well as their health.

  • Seniors who experience ageism once a week or more report having 4.6 more physically unhealthy days and 5.4 more mentally unhealthy days per month than respondents who rarely or never report experiencing ageism.
  • Seniors who experience ageism once a week or more reported that it had a moderately negative impact on their sense of self-esteem, confidence and optimism, scoring the impact of ageism on their self-esteem at nearly 6 on a 10-point scale.

Aging Americans who describe themselves as optimists feel better about their overall health and well-being, underscoring the importance of an optimistic mindset for healthy aging.

  • Among seniors who report experiencing frequent ageism (once a week or more), optimists have, on average, 4 fewer physical and 3 fewer mental unhealthy days each month.
  • And, of all survey respondents, those who rate themselves as most optimistic feel on average 12.5 years younger than their actual age.

“We’ve studied this in film, but the lack of senior representation and prevalence of ageism on the small screen counters the idea that TV is better than film,” said Stacy L. Smith, director of the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism. “There’s obviously more work to be done in the entertainment industry—seniors are often left out of the conversation on inclusion. This study speaks to the need for increasing older storytellers behind the camera who can create more authentic senior characters on-screen.”

Dr. Yolangel Hernandez Suarez, vice president and chief medical officer of care delivery at Humana, added: “Understanding the social determinants of health is a key priority for Humana. That’s why we’re committed to advancing societal perceptions and promoting aging with optimism. Our survey and continued partnership with the University of Southern California demonstrate the power of an optimistic mindset for combating ageism and embracing healthy aging.”

Both Stacy L. Smith and Dr. Yolangel Hernandez Suarez will provide more insight on each respective study as panelists at The Atlantic Live! New Old Age conference in New York City, slated for October 2017.

Read the full news release here.

Read Full Article

Humana is recruiting physicians for the company’s Executive Physician Immersion Program.

The two-year program, led by the office of the chief medical officer, can help physicians develop their capabilities in key business areas, including strategy, governance, population-health improvement, consumer-centered design, financial structures, value-based care, data analytics and government relations, among others.

Participants receive senior executive mentoring and attain a comprehensive, detailed understanding of Humana. They learn about systems affecting population health at a national level, while having the option to practice medicine and care for individuals. The result is a set of high-demand leadership skills that merge clinical insights with key business capabilities.

“The Executive Physician Immersion Program at Humana allows a business-orientated physician to cultivate the necessary skills to run large organizations and impact the future of healthcare,” said Amal Agarwal, DO, MBA and a participant in the program.  “Frequent collaboration across internal departments with regular exposure to external stakeholders (physicians, hospitals, patients, pharma), coupled with executive mentorship has, in one year, given me an expertise of the complexities of healthcare.”

The ideal candidate

• Is board-certified or board-eligible

• Is business-oriented

• Possesses a secondary degree – MBA or JD preferred, MPH considered

• Has enthusiasm for creative and challenging projects

• Thrives in a team-based environment

“We’re excited to have you come and learn more about the work we’re doing to improve health by making the health care system less fragmented and more integrated,” said Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer. “Humana is a rapidly evolving company that is a leader in both population health and in the conversion from a traditional insurer to a truly integrated health delivery company. We hope you’ll join us as a member of our innovative program designed to bring physician leaders to Humana. Our program will utilize the leadership skills you’ve already developed, immersing you in key areas within our company with intense executive mentorship and structured learning. Our goal is to foster the development of the next generation of physician leaders within Humana.”

For more information, click here.

Read Full Article

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.

Read Full Article