Humana

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 — How seniors can beat “diseases” like loneliness and social isolation — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

Tivity Health, Inc. (NASQ: TVTY) Chief Executive Officer Donato J. Tramuto and I recently teamed up to draft the following blog post.

Health is personal. You might tell yourself that you alone have the power to make the lifestyle changes to eat better, exercise or meditate.

But getting healthy doesn’t have to be a solo act, because many of us face the same challenges. Individual resolve is important, but momentum is best maintained when we have a friend to encourage us to stay the course.

For many of us with active lives, it’s easy to find people like ourselves, whether it’s at work or through a social activity. But if you’re a senior who is lonely or socially isolated, it’s not easy to find encouragement and change your health.

Seniors face many health challenges that are not just medical

American seniors face significant health challenges. Many of them are living with multiple chronic conditions they may have for the rest of their lives, from diabetes to congestive heart failure. They may be on a fixed income, struggling to pay for prescription drugs.

Despite these challenges, there is also positive momentum in aging. Advances in science are helping America’s seniors live longer and stay active. For example, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention say life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years, and that could rise.

While seniors are living longer, there are other issues that can affect their health. For example, take the impact of loneliness on seniors. One study found that “loneliness has an equivalent risk factor to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, shortening one’s lifespan by eight years.” Research has also shown that social isolation can limit a senior’s ability to improve their health. For example, “6 million adults 65 and older have a disability that prevents them from leaving their homes without help.”

Living with chronic conditions is hard enough. When a senior does not have a support network of friends and family – people to socialize with and share common interests – the will to improve one’s health can be compromised.

As the leaders of Humana and Tivity Health, we’ve had decades of experience helping the senior community. We’ve found that the secret to improving their health is simplicity. It starts by offering them a platform to engage in activities that not only make them healthier, but help them connect with others.

Bringing people together helps improve health

At Humana, we’re helping more than 3.3 million Medicare Advantage members nationwide age with optimism, an approach that goes beyond conventional clinical treatments. Many of our members are living with chronic conditions, but they are more active than previous generations. For Tivity Health, which manages SilverSneakers®, we’re helping millions of people age into Medicare.

Our experience has taught us that social engagement leads to sustainable change. SilverSneakers® memberships, available through countless Medicare Advantage programs, give seniors access to a nationwide network of physical locations, as well as community centers, parks and social locations, where they can meet other people and engage in fitness classes specifically designed for their demographic. One survey found that “49% of active members said they were motivated to continue exercising because they had a friend in the program.”

And it’s more than just walking. SilverSneakers offers a wide variety of exercises and intensity levels, from dance classes to yoga sessions, as well as conventional cardio and weight-focused classes. SilverSneakers has entered into partnerships with more than 14,000 fitness locations nationwide as well as at Humana Guidance Centers. At Humana, SilverSneakers is included at no additional cost to the 3.3 million Humana MA members across the country.

SilverSneakers is a key element of many Humana Medicare Advantage plans because the proactive program takes a holistic approach to capture the senior’s complete health, not just the clinical.

In MA, we take a coordinated care approach, working side-by-side with providers who are in value-based reimbursement models with Humana. That means these providers are reimbursed for the health outcomes of our members (their patients), not just the services they provide. Programs like SilverSneakers perfectly align with the health-focused nature of Medicare Advantage.

Let’s learn from common purpose

The resolve to improve one’s health starts from within, but success requires perseverance and encouragement from friends and others who share the goals. Today, millions of seniors are not getting that support because they are socially isolated or lonely, and this has had a significant impact on their health.

Helping these seniors improve their health and well-being does not always have to start with a prescription or a visit to the doctor. Platforms such as SilverSneakers, supported through Medicare Advantage programs that emphasize health outcomes, can give seniors the social support they need and connect them with others who share a common purpose. This camaraderie ensures that seniors are not alone in their health journey.

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Humana has again been named one of America’s most JUST companies, ranking No. 1 in the Health Care Providers industry on JUST Capital and Forbes magazine’s JUST 100 List.

The JUST 100 measures publicly traded U.S. companies against the American public’s definition of just corporate behavior, and then ranks the companies based on the results. The list shares information on issues Americans care most about – worker compensation and well-being, customer treatment, product impacts, environmental impact, strong communities, job generation, ethical sourcing and supply chains, transparency and more.

“Our responsibility is to leave the communities we serve and the planet in a better place,” said Bruce Broussard, Humana President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re fortunate that the decisions we made in the past have allowed Humana to have a great brand, recruit a great group of individuals, have customers join us, and to have a great value proposition for society and the people we serve.”

Humana’s CEO was invited to participate in a panel discussion about what makes a JUST company at an event in New York when Just Capital and Forbes unveiled this year’s Just 100 rankings.

Humana ranked No. 1 out of 18 companies within the Health Care Providers industry, which includes health insurers, hospitals, clinics, dentists, opticians, nursing homes, rehabilitation and retirement centers. Within the Health Care Providers industry, Humana ranks first in issues related to workers and communities, thanks to programs such as Volunteer Time Off (VTO), charitable giving matching, paid paternity leave, the Humana Communities Benefit program, as well as detailed reporting on inclusion and diversity efforts.

The 2017 JUST 100 List will appear in the Dec. 23, 2017, print issue of Forbes.

To learn more about Humana’s corporate citizenship efforts, read Humana’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Progress Report.

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At a time in which the health care industry is moving away from fee-for-service models – hundreds of industry professionals signed up for a webinar to learn more about Humana’s approach, best practices and success in value-based care agreements.

On December 6, Vice President Caraline Coats of Humana’s Provider Development Center of Excellence participated as a panelist in FierceHealthPayer’s “Best Practices for Value-Based Payment Arrangements.” Coats was joined by fellow panelist Tom Leyden, Director of Value Partnerships at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, with FierceMarkets senior editor Leslie Small serving as moderator.

Humana is proud to have been in the value-based space for more than 30 years. Coats, who leads Humana’s efforts in support of physicians and providers in value-based care relationships with the company, provided an overview of the company’s approach – how Humana helps providers as they move from volume to value, and how we’re meeting challenges inherent in the process:

•  The results tell the story. Patients treated by physicians in Humana value-based arrangements experience better health outcomes and lower costs than in traditional fee-for-service models.

•  Humana’s Integrated Care Delivery model brings simplicity and connectivity to the healthcare experience. Through best practices, Humana leverages people, process, and technology to facilitate successful partnerships.

•  Humana develops a long-term understanding of a provider’s needs and capabilities, and meet them along the way on the value-based continuum.

Humana does not believe in a “one-size-fits-all” agreement structure, and offers different relationship options to meet specific provide needs depending on infrastructure, capabilities, and level of commitment in moving from volume to value. This includes a range of possible Partnership Models that range in degree of equity investment.

Those who registered for the webinar come from a wide range of affiliations, representing hospitals, physician practices, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, universities, federal and local health care agencies, law firms, and other entities.

To view or listen to a recording of the webinar, click on this link to “post-register” for the webinar. You’ll then receive an email confirmation with a second link. When you click on that second link, you can view the slides and play the webinar audio.

And for additional information on Humana and value-based care – including services and support; payment models; and results – please visit https://www.humana.com/provider/support/vbc/.

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Humana has dedicated itself to making business decisions that improve the health and well-being of members, employees, the communities it serves, and the planet. For employees, there’s a tour that has stopped in Humana work locations around the country. The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Roadshow shows employees how they can incorporate social responsibility into their everyday jobs and support Humana’s Healthy People, Healthy Planet and Healthy Performance CSR efforts.

CSR has a positive impact on the community as well as the business. “Having a purpose” helps companies achieve approximately 10 percent more growth than companies that don’t.

Humana’s employees contribute to its CSR efforts in a multitude of ways. Small daily decisions such as taking a walk break or turning off computer monitors when leaving the office can have a big impact.

During the tour to Cincinnati, Ohio; Green Bay, Wisconsin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; and Tampa Bay and Miami, Florida, employees were also able to do something good for their health and the health of the local community – pushups*. By learning more about Humana’s Healthy People efforts and completing a few easy exercises, employees funded $17,500 in local food bank donations. Each exercise earned $1 (up to a $2,500) to fight local food insecurity in Humana communities.

The competition among locations has been healthy, too:

  • Cincinnati employees completed 2,522 exercises funding a $2,500 donation the Shared Harvest Food Bank.
  • Miami employees completed 2,540 exercises funding a $2,500 donation to Feeding South Florida.
  • Employees in Green Bay completed 2,618 exercises funding a $2,500 donation to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
  • Tampa employees completed 2,640 exercises to fund a $2,500 donation to Feeding Tampa Bay
  • New Orleans employees completed 4,135 pushups, which funded a $2,500 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • In Phoenix, employees did 7,059 pushups over two days, funding a $2,500 donation to St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.
  • In San Antonio, employees completed a staggering 10,950 exercises, funding a $2,500 donation to San Antonio Food Bank.

The CSR tour will wrap-up in Louisville on December 13 and 14. Local employees will be exercising to fund a donation to  Dare to Care Food Bank.

Learn more about Humana’s corporate social responsibility efforts.

*Traditional pushups, modified pushups, exercise band reps, and squats – whatever got employees moving counted.

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Food insecurity – a situation in which households lack access to enough nutritious food for a healthy, active life – has a significant impact on the health of many Americans.Across the nation, one in eight households (12.3 percent) is food insecure.

As part of its Bold Goal population health strategy, Humana is focused on addressing social determinants of health such as food insecurity and loneliness/social isolation. That’s why they partnered with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States, to develop a toolkit to help health care professionals diagnose and address food insecurity in their patients.

“Our research shows that food insecurity is strongly tied to poor health outcomes, so it is vital that physician practices begin to address food insecurity in their patient populations in order to help patients best manage their health,” said Kim Prendergast, RD, MPP, Feeding America. “This toolkit provides important information about food insecurity and contains a road map for how clinicians can implement screening and referral practices into their own workflow. By working with community partners that are willing to assist patients toward better health, health care providers are better able to care for patients each time they come in for a visit.”

The toolkit is designed to:

  • Define food insecurity and its impact on health
  • Provide information on how to screen for food insecurity and have the associated dialogue with patients
  • Provide information on programs available to patients
  • Explain how to work with the local food bank and other community organizations, and how to provide a referral to patients
  • Show how to measure the success of food insecurity interventions

The combination of an unhealthy diet and food insecurity can lead to impaired growth in children, more chronic diseases for adults, higher healthcare costs and missed work days, leading to lower incomes. The toolkit notes that food insecurity is linked specifically to these health problems in adults:

  • Higher levels of chronic disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • Medication non-adherence
  • Poor diabetes self-management
  • Higher probability of mental health issues, such as depression
  • Higher rates of iron-deficient anemia• More hospitalizations and longer in-patient stays

As the trusted source of referrals to support good health, physicians and clinicians can help alleviate food insecurity and ensure holistic care.

With simple, validated screening questions, physicians and clinicians can add food insecurity to the clinical dialogue and refer those who need help to community resources. Known collectively as the Hunger Vital Sign™, these two questions enable clinicians to quickly assess the food needs of a patient and their household:

  • “Within the past 12 months we worried whether our food would run out before we got money to buy more.” Was that often true, sometimes true, or never true for you/your household?
  •  “Within the past 12 months the food we bought just didn’t last and we didn’t have money to get more.” Was that often, sometimes, or never true for you/your household?

A response of “sometimes true” or “often true” to either or both questions should trigger a referral for food security support.

In addition, health professionals can use the responses to identify and address clinical problems rooted in food insecurity, such as spikes in blood sugar and blood pressure, depression and poor medication adherence.

For more information on Humana’s Bold Goal, click here.

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