Healthcare

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.

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Humana’s commitment to workplace health and well-being has been honored with yet another award – a Platinum designation from the National Business Group on Health. The Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award recognizes the best workforce wellness efforts in the nation, particularly those with a holistic approach that encompasses financial, emotional, social and community well-being.

This is the third such award for Humana in as many weeks. The company earned Gold status in the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, placing the company’s comprehensive workplace health efforts among the best in the nation. And Humana was ranked No. 3 on the list of the “Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America,” compiled by Healthiest Employers to honor the companies most successful in achieving well-being through leadership, innovation and engagement.

The Best Employers for Healthy Lifestyles® award recognizes and promotes effective ideas and best practices while providing a forum for sharing and comparing outcomes and success strategies.

Humana is one of only 16 companies to achieve Platinum status, reserved for organizations that have implemented a workforce well-being strategy with demonstrated results across the key dimensions of well-being. Further, a connection between workforce well-being and business outcomes has been recognized. This is the fifth straight year Humana has achieved Platinum status.

“We’re honored to receive this award, because promoting whole-person well-being is central to what we do,” said Tim State, Vice President, Associate Health and Well-being at Humana. “We’ve seen a cultural movement around well-being really take hold within our organization. By focusing on multiple dimensions of life – tending to each person’s sense of purpose, health, belonging and security – our associates are living more fully and we’re creating a stronger, more-engaged team.”

Read our press release here.

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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.

 

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Humana has been ranked No. 3 on the list of the “Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America,” compiled by Healthiest Employers to honor companies that proactively contribute to the health of employees through the most effective and innovative cultures of well-being.

It’s the second such award in a week for Humana. The company earned Gold status in the American Heart Association’s Workplace Health Achievement Index, placing the company’s comprehensive workplace health efforts among the best in the nation.

The Healthiest 100 is a national ranking determined by a rigorous methodology and weighted across local and national assessments. Scores are based on population health outcomes and six values: vision, culture/engagement, learning, expertise, metrics and technology.

By honoring organizations that proactively help their employees improve their health, the awards highlight best practices and provide valuable insight into managing population health.

“We’re proud to receive this recognition because it reflects all the hard work our associates have done together in improving their well-being,” said Tim Huval, Humana Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Tending to our own lives helps us understand and empathize with our members as they strive toward their own best health. By increasing the number of healthy days and lowering stress in our own population, we can lead by example and create healthier environments for our customers.”

Read the full press release here.

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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.

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