seniors

Summit Health and Humana have signed a new contract that provides in-network access for Humana Medicare members at Summit Health facilities and providers in south-central Pennsylvania.

The contract, which is effective Aug. 1, 2017, provides in-network access for Humana Medicare Advantage Health Maintenance Organization, Preferred Provider Organization, and Private Fee-for-Service health plan members seeking treatment at Summit Health facilities.

“We’re very pleased to expand our Pennsylvania Medicare provider network with Summit Health,” said Humana Regional Medicare President Rich Vollmer. “This means our Medicare Advantage members in south-central Pennsylvania will now have access to quality care from Summit Health’s medical facilities and its physicians.”

Read the full news release.

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The distinctive tune of the harmonica emits from the Humana community location on Western Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee. It is followed by laughter. Both sounds are sweet to Talinda T. who attended the Harmonicas for Health class with her 81-year-old mom, Lovetta.

“Prior to this class, I would say that I was a very negative, critical person, and primarily because I didn’t accept where (my mom) was at this stage in her life,” Talinda shares in a video about Harmonicas for Health participants. “But to see her blossom, to see her having difficulties with breathing, able to play that harmonica, whether it was just a tune here or a tune there. It has changed me for the better so that I can better help her.”

As the video explains in more detail, Harmonicas for Health teaches two breathing techniques recommended by the COPD Foundation. COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 12 million people have been diagnosed with COPD, and the American Lung Association estimates more than 24 million adults have impaired lung function.

Earl S. has asthma. He took the no-cost Harmonicas for Health class to help him with his breathing, but also to be part of a community. “What I read is that … one key to longevity is to be part of a community, where people know your name, and if you don’t show up, they’ll ask about you. People in those kind of communities tend to live better and longer. That’s something I’m really interested in.”

Glenn Meyers, MD and medical director in Tennessee, concurs. “With Harmonicas for Health, (Humana) members who have emphysema can exercise, can lose weight, can feel better, get those endorphins up, feel healthier, and get back out into the community.”

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Kathrine Switzer, who is serving as Humana’s health and well-being ambassador by participating in the National Senior Games, was profiled in TIME.com this week. Switzer was the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, in 1967, and ran the race again this year at age 70.

She talked to TIME about her 50th anniversary, her upcoming participation in the Senior Games, healthy aging, making fitness a priority, and overcoming stereotypes.

“Switzer, who built a career on challenging gender stereotypes in sports, said she is now focused on tackling ‘the frontier of aging,’” TIME wrote. “She will participate this week in the National Senior Games presented by Humana, a competitive sporting event for men and women over the age of 50 where she plans to run the 10K road race.”

Switzer said, “The biggest tip is to realize you’re never too old, big, slow, unattractive — anything else — to be an athlete because the body always wants to be an athlete, and it will respond to any amount of work in a positive way.”

Read the full story here.

See other Senior Games coverage here:

Costco Connection article featuring 2016 Humana Game Changer Vivian Stancil

KNXV-TV (Phoenix) segment featuring Chris Wallace

WDRB-TV (Louisville) segments featuring Rose Roylo

WTVT-TV (Tampa Bay) segment featuring Robert Rusbosin

Montgomery Community Media article featuring Kathleen Fisken

WNCT-TV (Greenville, NC) segment featuring Fay and Irma Bond

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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.”

Read the full article here.

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