Bruce Broussard


In 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 — A culture of well-being— is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

We all have heard that a life well lived is one filled with purpose. Yet getting focused and persevering toward that purpose is tough for each of us at times. Do I have the belief and optimism to commit fully? Do I have the energy to change? Do I have support from others along the way?

I continue to admire the will and the spirit of our employees, watching them work together to improve their own health and well-being, as well as that of the people they serve. It’s a purpose we share in common, and their dedication to our members and each other is inspirational.

As we’ve experienced first-hand, there is a strong link between optimism and well-being. Together, our collective spirit has fostered an internal social movement toward better health and well-being because our focus as an employer is on the whole health of our team. We work at it and stay committed. By nurturing that culture over time, lives change for the better. So does our future as a collective team committed to caring for others.

Peter, a Humana employee, is an example of a life changed for the better. He wanted me to share his personal journey to convey how much our well-being movement has meant to him.

Peter’s success story

Peter is an employee who has struggled with his weight his entire life. He got married to his high school sweetheart, whom he had known since sixth grade, and had tried to get his weight under control. Peter repeatedly set goals to lose weight…before his wedding, at the birth of his first child and his second child, but like many of us, he struggled to make it happen.

As Peter’s weight continued to grow, he eventually stopped weighing himself. That was until he and his wife sat down one day to talk about their retirement plan. You see, he was getting involved in our well-being efforts, but mostly focusing on financial well-being aspects…admittedly avoiding his physical health needs. She looked at him and said, “You’re over 300 lbs. I have to plan a contingency plan for when I retire without you.”

This struck a nerve with Peter, because it was the first time she had spoken of a future without him. It was a real moment of clarity – and also the spark he needed to change for his wife, his children and their future.

Peter started eating better and running. It wasn’t easy at first, but he grew with it and now loves to run. Peter and his wife now run together each week, and physical activity plays a central role in their lives. He knows he is still on a journey toward being his best, but he’s filled with the energy and optimism of knowing he’s living in line with his purpose.

Across the company

In addition to Peter’s story, Humana has been supporting the whole-person health and well-being of our employees, which includes financial aspects, from contributing to a 401(k) (93 percent of employees currently do) or engaging in financial education that helps strengthen their day-to-day financial security, and other aspects of their lives.

Chronic disease remains a massive challenge to workforce health and productivity. We’re engaging our employees to help them better self-manage their existing chronic conditions by providing digital-enabled tools that incorporate contextual coaching. We’re especially focused on healthier lifestyles that prevent chronic conditions. In addition, we’re deeply leveraging our Go365 wellness solution, which engages and rewards people for positive behavior changes.

On the emotional health side, the U.S. workforce is among the most stressed in the world. Building resilience is important, so we’re trying to foster a sense of belonging and purpose through our Bold Goal: improve the health of our communities 20 percent by 2020. We’ve found that employees in teams with a high sense of belonging have six times fewerUnhealthy Days.

Lastly, the workforce today is more distributed than ever. Like many companies, a portion of our employees work from home or are agile. We’re focused on providing them with virtual care, both physical and behavioral, as well as ways of keeping them deeply connected to their teams and our culture.

Never stop learning

Such stories are empowering, so we share many of them each year in our annual Well-Being Report, an interactive journey through some of the lessons we’ve learned (and are still learning) along with data-driven insights over the prior year. We share this report internally to inspire and connect our community. This year, for the first time, we’re sharing the report publicly.  

Here are a few learnings and insights that I took away from our report:

Importance of internal well-being champions – At Humana, we have a group of employees who volunteer to serve as “Well-being Champions.” They are a group of heroes who are responsible for localizing well-being initiatives and inspiring their colleagues to take action. They have played such a critical role in fostering a culture of whole-person health and well-being.

Leverage our executive team commitment – If you want to inspire change, leaders must set the tone. They must walk the walk, or you’re not going to foster a culture of health. I’m proud of how our executive team has helped foster this climate across the company. I know that we can always raise the bar, and it starts with me and my team.

Simplify the path to better outcomes – The health care industry is undergoing a significant transformation, where it’s rebuilding itself around the consumer. People need help removing barriers and finding a simpler path to their best selves. For example, we cover the cost of various preventive medications and even deliver them across campus for employees to manage their health. The report is a reminder that if we stay focused on keeping health and well-being at the heart of our culture, we can measurably improve health outcomes for our members, many of whom are living with multiple chronic conditions or are already proactively taking steps to change their lifestyles.

It’s a never-ending journey

Health and well-being is a journey for each of us – and one we don’t make alone. Much can be done to build healthier cultures today, where positive change is more often “caught than taught.” 

For us, we know that to help our members live healthier and happier lives, we must keep learning and striving in our own journey together. We need to stay focused on the whole health of our team, from financial security to behavioral health.

For more on Peter’s path to well-being and other inspirational stories, please check out the Humana Well-being: 2018 Annual Report.

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Members of Humana’s management team, as well as some of the company’s operational leaders, are in New York City for the company’s biennial Investor Day.

The event, which takes place at the New York Stock Exchange, will showcase the company’s strategic direction, operational and financial progress, as well as expectations for future performance through presentations given by many of the company’s leaders. Many of Humana’s largest institutional shareholders, as well as Wall Street analysts who cover the company, will attend.

The company last hosted a similar event in April 2017.

CEO Bruce Broussard kicked off the day with opening remarks and an overview of the company’s strategy. The meeting will be available via a video webcast on Humana’s Investor Relations page. Just sign in after clicking the webcast link after scrolling down to the Humana Investor Day entry in the Events section.

If you can’t watch today, a video replay will appear on the Investor Relations page Wednesday, March 20.

To help celebrate Investor Day, members of Humana’s management team rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, March 18.

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Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard has been offering his thoughts on LinkedIn in recent days, discussing everything from interoperability to the importance of leadership and trust.

He’s a frequent contributor, sharing insights and ideas about the future of health care and the importance of working together to improve the health-care system as well as our own health and well-being.

Read his latest posts here.

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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 — Doing more with less: health care inspiration from the developing world — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

I had the opportunity to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It’s always an amazing experience to learn about new ideas in health and other societal matters from around the world. As a strong believer in the importance of lifelong learning, Davos is a place where there is always something new to learn.

This year what struck me the most was how innovators in underdeveloped countries are overcoming economic challenges and lack of infrastructure to meaningfully advance health care delivery. Despite limited resources, these people are providing ingenious solutions to health care issues, some of which have actually put their countries further along than the U.S. in scaling digital health solutions.

Here’s a quick recap of three meetings I had with individuals who are advancing health care delivery through innovative approaches that leverage a wide variety of care access points, mobile technologies, and less-specialized clinicians. These solutions transcend economic and infrastructure challenges.

 

Integrated training and technology, distributed access points, and unconventional providers can be brought together to improve access to care. At the top of this blog, you’ll see a photo of Dr. Dixon Chibanda and me. Dr. Chibanda is the founder of The Friendship Bench and a psychiatrist from Zimbabwe, and he is one of just 12 psychiatrists practicing in Zimbabwe, a country of over 16 million. He’s an amazing individual whose Friendship Bench provides a relaxed and natural setting where people can speak comfortably about what’s bothering them.

Dr. Chibanda shared that he uses grandmothers as providers, using mobile apps to teach them to provide basic mental health services. He said grandmothers bring a level of empathy to the process that has been instrumental in getting people to open up about their problems. This successful program is not just in Zimbabwe; it’s been launched in the United Kingdom and New York City.

Mobile apps and transportation are changing health care in Venezuela. We’re all sadly familiar with the crisis in Venezuela. But despite the challenges they face, Venezuelans are innovating around access to care.

I sat down with Dr. Andres Gonzalez, Director of Venemergencia, which provides telehealth and a unique form of house calls to enhance care. For example, Venemergencia’s doctors and nurses, with their diagnostic equipment, use mopeds to see their patients. Combined with a mobile app, patients can schedule appointments, and doctors are able to access patients’ medical records to provide personalized care. It’s a great example of boldly delivering care locally without the constraints of brick-and-mortar clinics.

Telehealth is transforming care delivery in challenging rural markets. Sangita Reddy, Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals, is using technology to help people who live in rural parts of India and struggle to access care.

In 2018, she and her company facilitated 2.4 million telehealth visits in India and nine other countries in which Apollo operates. During my conversation with Sangita, she spoke to the benefits of telehealth as a means for specialists in metropolitan areas to connect with their patients living with complex diseases. Primary care physicians and nurses benefit as well, because the work advances their training.

 

As I reflected on these learnings, it reminded me of underdeveloped countries going directly to cellular telephone technology, skipping landline technology. I experienced this firsthand, as my father’s career began with AT&T, installing landline switches in those brown cement buildings located in every U.S. city. In the later stage of his career, he was installing cellular technology in underdeveloped countries that had no telecommunication, bypassing the less-agile and building-dependent landlines. Fast forward 20 years, and mobile has become the preferred technology.

Could this foreshadow the evolution of the traditional health care system, which is more institutional and expert-dependent, making it more difficult to access and more costly? The future system — with expanded access points through less-trained individuals aided by technology — will come, but it requires the current system to actively invest in the technology infrastructure, governments to change public policy, and companies to transition to new business models. I hope we will embrace the transition more quickly than we embraced the conversion from landlines to cellular service.

Access to care is a global issue, but solving it happens on a local level. A report from Oxfam found that “every day, 10,000 people die because they lack access to affordable healthcare.” Solving for this is a global imperative and especially hits home for those of us in the health care industry. It requires bold and innovative approaches that meet people where they are, ever mindful of the non-health challenges that impact their access to care.

I’d be interested in your thoughts. What assumptions about health care do we need to challenge? In your community, how are innovators helping to improve access to care?

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Humana CEO Bruce Broussard – who is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – appeared on the CNBC program “Squawk Box” and talked about the importance of value-based medicine, technology and coordinated care in the U.S. health care system.

You can watch the interview here. 

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is a yearly gathering that brings together leaders of global society — the heads and members of more than 100 governments; top executives of the 1,000 foremost global companies; leaders of international organizations; important non-governmental organizations; and the most prominent cultural, societal and thought leaders.

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