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Humana and the University of Houston have announced a long-term strategic partnership to train the health care leaders of tomorrow with a focus on advancing population health, improving health outcomes and expanding the use of value-based payment models.

Together, the two organizations will create the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, which will unite the university’s new College of Medicine, as well as the existing colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Optometry. A $15 million gift over 10 years from Humana will help defray start-up and operational costs for the College of Medicine, as well as fund endowed chairs for each of the five colleges.

The strategic collaboration is designed to graduate physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals who are trained in population health and have a propensity for primary care and for working with the underserved.

“This is an investment in the future of our health care system, which depends on clinical leaders who understand concepts like population health, the importance of social determinants of health and the need to emphasize value over the volume of health care services provided,” said Humana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roy Beveridge. “The University of Houston is an ideal partner to continue Humana’s integrated care delivery evolution because we share a vision for addressing these imperatives and for caring for individuals in underserved communities with the greatest health needs.”

Read the news release here.

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Humana uses “the power of the value-based care reimbursement model to support physician practices in keeping their patients with Medicare Advantage (MA) in their homes and out of the hospital,” according to Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Beveridge recently wrote an article for Home Health Care News, citing the importance of coordinated care and services like Kindred at Home and Humana at Home.

Imagine a member named “Carol,” he wrote, “a 72-year-old widow who lives alone.”

“The last time Carol was discharged from the hospital, she had no clear follow-up plan. Days passed before her home-care company helped arrange for her to see a doctor, which left her unsure if she was taking the right medicine or if symptoms that arose were expected or warranted a return to the hospital. There was no hand-off. Her care team didn’t receive important data — like her medical history, list of medications, or personal circumstances that could hinder her health.

“Humana and Kindred are a powerful duo and have the ability to transform home health care,” he wrote. “Together, through post-acute visits, care coordination, clinical services, technology, and data and analytics, we’re able to extend the physician and their practice so Carol and others are able to stay where they want to be — at home.

“It’s the difference between Carol feeling alone on an island and feeling secure in her home. It’s the difference between Carol feeling anxious in her ability to care for herself and feeling supported by a care team that can get her close to her physician whenever she needs it.”

Read the article here.

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Health care leaders need “to acquire new skills, talents, and capabilities as we lead new and expanded teams of people in the treatment of patients,” according to two Humana leaders writing for Managed Healthcare Executive.

Dr. Roy Beveridge, Humana’s Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Meredith Williams, Lead Medical Director, wrote about effective leadership styles in a value-based reimbursement model, where success is measured in better health outcomes for chronically ill patients.

Physician leaders must encourage collaboration, increase transparency, practice humility, be curious and mindful of others’ expertise, and provide inspiration and motivation.

“Over the past decades, we’ve expanded whom we work with, but we haven’t fundamentally changed how the team functions to best support the care of the chronically ill,” they wrote. “For people to work together differently, we need a different style of leadership. Research from the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement shows that clinicians want to be led by clinicians. If physicians want to lead in the value-based world, we need to get a team working together to achieve something that’s superior to what we would have achieved on our own.”

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Maria Hughes, Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, Humana Inc.

Today’s workplace includes more generations than ever before – the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, Millennials and Generation Zers together within a single company. As some workers choose to remain in the workforce and delay retirement, the next generation is beginning their careers.

How do we create a healthy and inclusive workplace where employees from every generation feel valued? How do we encourage employees from different generations to work together and share their unique skills? How do we make sure generational differences and commonalities are understood and valued … and a strength, even, as opposed to a weakness?

Quite simply, we listen.

Humana recently created our ninth Network Resource Group (NRG) with the goal of listening to and encouraging teamwork between the different generations within our company. GenUs, our multigenerational NRG open to all Humana employees, is committed to growing understanding and breaking down generational barriers that suppress diversity of thought. When we weave these generations together within Humana – when we truly thrive together – we’re a stronger company better positioned to deliver on our Bold Goal and improve the health of every community we serve.

Finding ways to thrive together regardless of generation is something we work toward across all of Humana. To that extent, our GenUs executive sponsors represent different teams within the company and bring unique perspectives from their own departments and generations.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to help Humana look past stereotypes and listen to each other so that good work gets done efficiently and humanely,” says Walter Woods, Chief Executive Officer of the Humana Foundation and GenUs executive sponsor. “Are workers today really so different from those of generations past? Perhaps, but perhaps we’re responding to shifts in the business landscape by clinging to assumptions and falsehoods. Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millenials, the Gen Z up-and-comers – we all want the same things like income, purpose and to feel valued, even if we want them in slightly different ways.”

Today’s workplace is markedly different than in the past, underscoring the importance of thinking differently about our future workforce. Before establishing GenUs, we completed a round of multigenerational focus groups to understand the needs of Humana’s employees. Our employees want and value similar things, as Walter said, but approach these areas differently based on generation.

• Learning and development – Regardless of place in career or life stage, our employees want continued development. Employees are interested in learning from each other, sharing an older generation’s acquired skills with a younger generation and sharing the newer skillsets those just entering the workforce have with those further into their careers.

• Career navigation – Regardless of age, our employees want to continue to grow and want to be taken seriously.

• Workplace experience – It’s important to find the common denominators and create an inclusive space that’s as friendly to those who began their careers without the Internet to those who think email is an “old school” form of communication.

• Consumer experience and integrated care – Our employees want to understand how working well together across generations impacts Humana’s members’ health and well-being.

Values and experiences are what define a generation, perhaps even more so than birth year. Moments like the Civil Rights Movement or 9-11 can shape an entire generation. And generations translate into the workplace and our communication styles, ability to adapt to change and technical skills.

“With a multi-generational workforce, it is crucial that we recognize and listen to differences in workstyle preferences, work location preferences and work hour preferences – that we meet our people where they are in life,” says Anne-Britton Arnett, Vice President, Information Management and Analytics and GenUs executive sponsor. “GenUs gives Humana employees at all stages in life an opportunity to collaborate and make a real difference in how we work toward achieving a work-life balance that allows us all to achieve our best health and well-being.”

As we’ve just started the new GenUs Network Resource Group, we aren’t sure yet what our employees will think of it, or even if they’ll embrace this approach. We are sure, though, that every employee across the company has the opportunity to benefit from greater connection and understanding across our generations.

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Humana has been named to the Forbes list of Best Employers for New Graduates 2018.

“At a time when America’s new workforce entrants consider benefits like flexible work arrangements and career development opportunities to be just as important as hefty paychecks and big brand names, companies have had to compete more than ever before to attract and retain the top of the class,” Forbes wrote in an article announcing the list, the publication’s first such ranking. “In doing so, some employers have stood out as top postgrad destinations.”

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to compile the list, surveying 10,000 Americans with less than ten years professional experience working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. The surveys were anonymous.

According to Forbes, “The respondents were asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as working conditions, salary and how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. Statista then asked those surveyed to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 250 employers that received the most recommendations.” Humana ranked No. 175.

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