LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) today unveiled the “2019 Bold Goal Progress Report,” which details the company’s progress in improving Healthy Days and chronic conditions in its Medicare Advantage population. The report, which can also be accessed by clicking here, is the fourth one that the company has issued since 2016.
A comprehensive health and business strategy, Humana’s Bold Goal is working to help improve the health of the communities it serves 20 percent by 2020 and beyond. The company reports its learnings and results across specific conditions and social determinants of health, as well as in populations through lines of business such as Medicare Advantage, Group and Medicaid. In Medicare Advantage, 91 percent of Humana seniors have at least one chronic condition.
Since the beginning of the Bold Goal, Humana has used the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health-related quality of life measurement known as Healthy Days to track and trend progress. Healthy Days takes into account the whole person by measuring self-reported mentally and physically Unhealthy Days over a 30-day period.
The use of Healthy Days aligns with Humana’s holistic approach to addressing the impact of social determinants and health-related social needs on a person’s life, such as food insecurity, social isolation and loneliness. For example, a Humana Medicare Advantage member who is food insecure can have up to 26.6 Unhealthy Days a month, while someone who suffers from loneliness can have 24.4 Unhealthy Days a month. Humana’s research also shows that for each Unhealthy Day a person reports, it is correlated to 10 hospital admissions per thousand, or the potential of $15.64 per member per month in higher medical cost.
“A large part of Humana’s focus is to help people living with multiple chronic conditions improve their health, which requires an integrated approach,” said Bruce D. Broussard, Humana’s President and CEO. “The Bold Goal is not just our north star; it’s a quantitative way for us to address the holistic needs of multiple populations, and to measure our progress. This year’s report reflects our track record of success in managing chronic conditions over time. Given current demographic trends, we expect to see continued demand for a support structure that addresses social needs, along with clinical ones.”
The following key highlights reflect the progress Humana members and the communities the company serves achieved in 2018.
- Humana Medicare Advantage members are improving their overall health. Medicare Advantage members living in the company’s original seven Bold Goal communities have seen a 2.7 percent reduction in their Unhealthy Days since 2015.
- The first Bold Goal community, San Antonio, is halfway to its 20 percent healthier goal. Since 2015, Humana Medicare Advantage members in San Antonio have experienced a 9.8 percent reduction in Unhealthy Days.
- 500,000 members, employees and patients were screened for social determinants of health in 2018. Humana worked with internal business partners, physician practices and community organizations to screen for food insecurity and loneliness and refer those who screened positive to community resources. They set a new goal of 1 million people screened by the end of 2019.
Despite the progress above, new Humana Medicare Advantage members reported high mentally Unhealthy Days, which offset gains in several of Humana’s Bold Goal communities. In fact, Humana Medicare Advantage members in Broward County experienced a 3.6 percent increase in Unhealthy Days, mostly driven by a large increase in membership reporting high mentally Unhealthy Days and depression.
William Shrank, MD, MSHS, Humana’s new Chief Medical Officer, whose organization is responsible for the Bold Goal, believes the key to delivering more physically and mentally Healthy Days is to build a sustainable and scalable integrated care model around the patient where they live.
“The social barriers and health challenges that our Medicare Advantage members and others face are deeply personal,” said Dr. Shrank. “This requires us to become their trusted advocate that can partner with them to understand, navigate and address these barriers and challenges. With Healthy Days as our barometer, we are able to track and trend population health, measure outcomes and triage members in unique ways to the resources they need.”
Caraline Coats, Vice President, Bold Goal and Population Health Strategy, who leads the company’s efforts, believes the key to improving mentally Unhealthy Days among Humana’s Medicare Advantage population, many of whom are living with multiple chronic conditions, can be found in addressing loneliness, social isolation and behavioral health needs.
“Throughout the country, we are seeing a rise in mental health concerns as well as loneliness and social isolation, especially in our aging adult population. In fact, since the 1980s, the rates of loneliness in adults over the age of 45 have doubled,” said Coats. “With the knowledge that mentally Unhealthy Days and new membership are driving many of our results, several of our Bold Goal communities are looking at ways to address this growing need. We’ve already seen efforts emerge in Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Louisville.”
Please visit www.humana.com/boldgoal for additional information on Humana’s efforts and to learn how to get involved in one of the community Health Advisory Boards.