health-care system

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

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.

Read Full Article

Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roy Beveridge, recently wrote an article for Managed Healthcare Executive advising physicians, clinicians and other health professionals on how to best influence population health.

“The secret can be found in leveraging community resources to address your patient’s health barriers,” Dr Beveridge wrote. “Addressing the social determinants of health that your patients live with every day—such as food insecurity, social isolation, and physical inactivity—will augment your treatment plan.”

He wrote about Humana’s Bold Goal, and the company’s efforts to bring “physicians and community leaders together to overcome barriers to health.” He also offered examples of the work that can be scaled to other communities.

“In our latest Bold Goal Progress Report, we showcase how physicians, nonprofits, faith-based groups, and government and business leaders are coming together to create more Healthy Days,” he wrote. “Because we’ve learned that no one entity, Humana or your practice, can do this alone. It takes us all and we must be aligned.”

Read the full article here.

Read Full Article

Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s chief medical officer, has been nominated again as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders of 2017.

Cast your vote for Dr. Roy Beveridge.
Voting ends April 28.

For the second year in a row, Dr. Roy Beveridge is in the running for Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders. You can vote for him now by clicking here.

We’re proud of the work Dr. Beveridge does to support Humana’s goal of helping physicians and health systems transition to value-based care. He has brought together physician and business leaders from across the country to understand how to successfully make the shift from fee-for-service. Then, on behalf of Humana, Dr. Beveridge shares these learnings with others in the industry so we can all work together to reinvent the way health care is delivered in America and improve population health.

Dr. Beveridge has written extensively about helping physicians transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement and the fact that it makes good financial sense. In a recent video he talks about the need to focus more on patient outcomes, as opposed to the process of providing care.

About Dr. Roy Beveridge:
Dr. Beveridge is known for his thought leadership on population health, authoring numerous articles on a range of medical topics such as medical oncology, stem cell transplantation, integrated care delivery models and standardization of quality metrics. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, practicing for more than 20 years. He is a member of many societies, including American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Society of Hematology. Previously, he has served on many boards related to medical practice, quality metrics and patient advocacy. He currently serves on the Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network guiding committee.

Read Full Article

Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s chief medical officer, has again been nominated as one of Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders of 2017.

Cast your vote for Dr. Roy Beveridge.
Voting is open through Friday, April 28.

For the second year in a row, Dr. Roy Beveridge is in the running for Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders. You can vote for him now by clicking here.

We’re proud of the work Dr. Beveridge does to champion Humana’s Bold Goal and integrated model of health care. He’s been instrumental in working with others to unite physicians, business and government leaders, community organizations, medical associations and academics around population health. The unified group looks at barriers that make health hard and works together to test solutions. Then, Dr. Beveridge, on behalf of the group, shares these solutions and research findings so others in the industry can learn from what we’re doing together to make health a little easier for people.

Check out an article he published last month on Forbes.com that focuses on why investing in improved health and longevity makes financial sense for our business.

About Dr. Roy Beveridge:
Dr. Beveridge is known for his thought leadership on population health, authoring numerous articles on a range of medical topics such as medical oncology, stem cell transplantation, integrated care delivery models and standardization of quality metrics. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine, practicing for more than 20 years. He is a member of many societies, including American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, and American Society of Hematology. Previously, he has served on many boards related to medical practice, quality metrics and patient advocacy. He currently serves on Health Care Payment Learning & Action Network guiding committee.

Read Full Article