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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.”

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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.”

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Great healthcare is personal. Because each person’s health is unique, each member needs something different from their care. Sometimes that’s as simple as having an easy process in place to keep different treatments organized and coordinated. Sometimes that means having a caring person to talk through options during a difficult time. But every time, great healthcare means helping people live more healthy days, providing high quality care, and keeping costs down—so members can focus on living their best lives.

Humana works with this single goal in mind: helping our members get, and stay, healthy.

That’s why we’ve set a bold goal: to improve the health of the communities we serve 20 percent by 2020. And we’re making steady progress with an early focus on communities like San Antonio, Texas, and Tampa Bay, Florida … places where Humana has large member populations.

Here are just some of the ways we’re getting there.

Our efforts to save you money

At Humana, we want to keep costs down so our members can focus on living healthy lives. We work hard to make sure we’re succeeding. Here’s what we do to help our Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan members save almost $500 in prescription drug premiums this year:*

•  We check that the drugs we cover are prescribed and used according to clinical guidelines. We help people choose less expensive but clinically equivalent drugs including generics or OTC. We choose drugs for our formularies that are effective and provide value to consumers.

•  We monitor new drugs entering the market and forecast when drug patents will expire and generic drugs will enter the market.

•  We negotiate drug prices with drug manufacturers and work with them to get better clinical outcomes.

•  We help members take their drugs as prescribed and not miss doses, and warn members of possible harmful drug effects such as drug to drug interactions, high risk drugs, or duplicate therapies.

•  We use clinical research and analyze data to compare drugs and clinical outcomes to help us place the most clinically and cost effective drugs on our formularies. We also try to predict and detect possible risks or overutilization of certain drugs.

Innovating to keep you healthy

You can’t always measure what a healthy day feels like. But at Humana, the measurements of our innovative technologies tell us we’re on the right track:

1.9 million Humana members had high health risks. Humana used predictive modeling to find them and connected them to their doctors to close potential gaps in their care.

In one study, we saw an average 8.7 percent reduction in body weight using digital health tools—and we’re planning more.

Promoting integrated care

Humana helps doctors spend their time keeping members healthy, rather than just treating them when they get sick. We’re doing it in a few key ways:

•  We’re emphasizing primary care and working to slow the progress of chronic conditions. By closing gaps in care, we’re making life a little better for members and helping them keep their costs low.

•  We’re rewarding doctors and other healthcare providers for great results—like our 42,000 primary care partners in integrated care arrangements. When we conducted a national survey of our partners, 87 percent of those medical providers were pleased with our partnerships.

•  We’re identifying chronic conditions before they develop using predictive models and data analysis to connect the dots between early symptoms … before they turn into long-term issues.

•  We’re making it easier for people to achieve their best health with in-home care and technology that encourages them to stay healthy on their own time.

We believe in a simple premise: Doctors should be able to keep you healthy, not just focus on treating you when you get sick. And doctors agree.

But in many cases, doctors are reimbursed for the procedures they perform, not health outcomes they help influence. That’s why we’re partnering with doctors across the country to move toward accountable, integrated care. It means we’re focusing on the quality of care you receive and how healthy you are.

And that model is working: In 2013, we compared Humana’s Medicare Advantage members who received care from doctors whose reimbursement focused on health outcomes to those members who received care from doctors reimbursed for the procedures they perform. The members who saw providers with health outcome focused reimbursement had seven percent fewer emergency room visits per thousand and four percent fewer inpatient admissions, too.

Healthy behaviors, healthy living

At Humana, we’re committed to helping our members achieve their best health. HumanaVitality, which now has 3.9 million members, gives members rewards for making healthier, active choices—and that helps lower their health costs. People engaged in the HumanaVitality program had 6 percent lower healthcare costs than those outside the program after one year.

Keeping costs in check

 

Keeping people healthy saves money. It’s as simple as that. By helping Humana members live their best, healthiest lives, each of these programs contributes to keeping their costs down.


*How we calculate our cost-savings for members:

February 2016 Internal Humana calculation of total projected premium value from Humana’s drug rebates, management, and quality programs divided by [projected 2016] Humana Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan membership, as applicable.

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Humana has been named one of the 50 Best Places to Work for New Dads by Fatherly, an online resource that aims to be “the most robust source of practical parenting advice on the Internet.”

The publication cited Humana’s four weeks of paid paternity leave, our Health Savings Account, our PTO policy and “some of the most competitive salaries in the industry made even better with recognition pay for good performance.”

The article also mentioned our tuition-reimbursement and 401k policies, which helped make Humana “the top-ranked insurance company on this year’s list.”

Read more about Humana here.

See the full list here.

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