Bruce Broussard

Making the best of your retirement means tending to your health as much as your 401K, IRA or stock portfolio, says Humana President and CEO Bruce Broussard.

Bruce recently wrote a blog post for CNBC.com about the importance of taking care of your health in advance of retirement. He noted that three in four Americans aged 65 and older have multiple chronic conditions

You can read Bruce’s post here.

“When people reach retirement, they believe they can make up for decades of unhealthy behaviors — like sedentary lifestyles or poor eating habits — because they won’t be working as much and will have more time,” Bruce wrote. “While improving behavior will help at any stage, it won’t make up for years of unhealthy actions that have led to chronic conditions — from diabetes to heart disease.”

He said that having better habits now will pay big dividends later, and that the industry is evolving to make that easier.

“Technology is going to disrupt the health care experience, and it will enable us to have a highly detailed understanding of our core health numbers through advances in things like wearables, remote monitoring and electronic health records. But opening apps on your phone will only go so far,” he wrote. “Changing unhealthy behaviors starts with the individual. We all need to manage our health with the same vigilance we use for financial retirement planning. We should know our BMI numbers as well as our 401K balances.”

Read the full blog post here.

Read Full Article

Humana has been named to the DiversityInc list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, the leading assessment of diversity management in corporate America and around the world. Humana is No. 48 on the list.

In addition, Humana is No. 10 on the DiversityInc list of the Top 18 Companies for Veterans.

The DiversityInc Top 50 list, issued yearly since 2001, recognizes the nation’s top companies for diversity and inclusion management. These companies excel in such areas as hiring, retaining and promoting women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT and veterans.

“We’re honored to be on this list and proud that our employees reflect the wide variety of the communities in which we work,” said Bruce Broussard, Humana’s President and CEO. “Our members are unique and have different health needs and goals. Having a diverse group of employees who can empathize with and relate to our members is critical to our helping them achieve their best health.”

The DiversityInc list is derived exclusively from corporate survey submissions, and there is no cost. To be considered for a spot in the DiversityInc Top 50, a company must score above average in recruitment, talent development, senior leadership commitment and supplier diversity. Companies are evaluated within the context of their own industries.

Read the news release here.

Read Full Article

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 — Leadership Lessons: Getting Lost Can Be a Good Thing — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

It’s hard to get lost today. Yet sometimes you need to get lost to find something you didn’t expect. This happened to me a few months ago at New York’s Penn Station.

I was traveling with my family, and we couldn’t find our train. We were lost, running late and stressed. I was fortunate to meet Jermaine Jones from Amtrak, who stopped what he was doing to help. I could tell that Jermaine was someone who could write a book on customer service. Given how my company serves 14 million people, I’m always intrigued when I encounter someone who clearly loves helping people.

I certainly wasn’t aware of Jermaine’s title (I learned later that he is the Amtrak Station Manager for Penn Station), but it was obvious that he led by going above and beyond. I knew he’d be the perfect keynote speaker for my company’s annual Perfect Experience Summit, a gathering of several thousand leaders who are there to discuss how we’re going to deliver the perfect experience for our customers.

An inspirational story – that’s still going on

Jermaine isn’t a professional speaker. He speaks from faith, passion and pain. Jermaine is just someone who loves helping people and is in the middle of his own career journey. But he does have an inspiring story.

In 2009, Jermaine lost his job at DHL after 14 years, along with thousands of others. He didn’t have a backup plan, because he never thought it would happen to him. With a wife and three daughters to support, it was very difficult, personally and financially, for him and his family.

Jermaine was at one of the lowest points of his life. Sitting in his back yard late one night in the rain, he made a promise to God that if he ever managed to change his mindset, he would never think the same way again. Jermaine picked himself up and found out through a friend that Amtrak was hiring. After 25 resume submissions by his wife (Jermaine joked that she wanted him out of the house), and a rejection, he was hired as a baggage handler.

Yet in four short years, mainly due to his new attitude, how his actions reflected it and leaders within Amtrak noticing his talent, Jermaine was promoted to Station Manager of New York Penn Station, easily one of Amtrak’s busiest stations. He has been a Station Manager in New York Penn Station for four years and has been at Amtrak a total of seven years and six months.

Jermaine even managed to start Brothers Making a Difference of New Jersey, an all-volunteer-based “nonprofit organization aimed at enriching the lives of youth academically, culturally and professionally.” He has run it for nearly six years.

Five lessons in leadership – regardless of industry

Jermaine did not disappoint and delivered an inspiring and timeless message to our leaders. Some highlights:

Going the extra mile is never crowded. If you are looking for no traffic, go the extra mile. Given my experience with Jermaine, it’s clear that he goes the extra mile for the customer. As leaders, we should strive to deliver a perfect experience and inspire others to do the same. It’s often the small stuff that turns out to be the big stuff in positively impacting someone’s day.

Don’t let the people change you; you change the people. That’s how you hold yourself accountable. Jermaine has a very outgoing, positive attitude, and when he first started his baggage job, some of his colleagues told him to calm down. Jermaine felt that people sometimes look to contaminate you. He knows that when you’re serving your customers, you need to be true to yourself and set an example that can inspire others. Customers deserve the best you can offer them.

Hold yourself accountable, even when no one is watching. Jermaine told our leaders that he never thought that if he changed his way of thinking, his entire life would change. He chalks this up to accountability. He knew that he could pass the blame to others. Yet when he looked in the mirror, he knew he had to be accountable. It’s always easy to blame others (we’ve all done it), but we owe ourselves more.

Your setbacks can become a setup for your comeback. 2009 was a challenging year for our country’s economy. Yet Jermaine brought up a great point. We all get knocked down. Use it as a way to address your faults so you can succeed the next time. For Jermaine, the toughest job was changing his own mindset.

Treat everyone you meet like they are the CEO. Jermaine said that if you treat everyone you encounter as the CEO, you never have to change your behavior because it becomes a lifestyle. Regardless of where you stand in your organization, leadership is not defined by titles but by actions. Give your employees and customers the best service you can.

Jermaine says character is built when no one is watching. As leaders, we have a responsibility to provide the best service to our customers and the best leadership to inspire our teams. Both deserve nothing less. We must always give our best, especially when no one is watching.

In any career journey, you will have success and failure. It’s important to learn how to stay the course. But don’t forget that getting lost can have its advantages, like it did for me that day in Penn Station.

 

Read Full Article

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 can leaders improve company health? — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

Great health is hard, and achieving a holistic sense of well-being – with a balanced sense of purpose, health, belonging and security – can be difficult.

But my company is in the business of health, and we think our purpose includes leading by example to inspire positive change. In 2015, we announced our Bold Goal: improve the health of the communities we serve 20 percent by 2020. For our own employees, we set an even more ambitious goal – to meet that mark by the end of 2017.

To measure our progress, we use tools like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) population-health tool known as Healthy Days, which measures the number of physically and mentally Unhealthy Days a person has in a 30-day-timeframe.

So how are we doing?

By the end of last year, our employees had reduced their number of Unhealthy Days by 18 percent. Over the past five years, they were able to gain 1.8 million more Healthy Days in total, and I could not be more proud of them.

Our employees have fully embraced this journey, becoming deeply engaged and committed to fostering a culture of well-being, for ourselves and for our customers. What we’re learning can be applied to everyone we serve.

How can it help you?

Here are three fundamental principles that have helped us improve our community’s health (inside the company) and bring what we learn to our customers (outside the company):

1. Make it Personal: Help people know where they are in their journey, and meet them there.

Inside: People first need a realistic, accurate sense of their personal well-being in plain, empathetic language. Many of us tend to overestimate how well we are doing when it comes to our health, as long as we can still do the things we care about. People need a personalized starting point, and ways to track progress. Our annual health and well-being assessments help employees objectively see their current state and course, including strengths and specific barriers, and detail how these may compare to the broader population. In terms of health, they learn how specific behaviors in their lifestyle may be helping or hindering progress, and how their biometric results (like BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels) could indicate where to focus.

Empowered with this understanding, employees can then receive personalized guidance on their best next step to start or sustain their journey of better health. As we detailed in our 2018 Bold Goal Progress Report, “despite aging five years, 63 percent of employees reduced or maintained biometric health risks associated with chronic disease, reversing the expected trend.”

Outside: At Humana, we serve more than 3.3 million Medicare Advantage members, the majority of whom are living with multiple chronic conditions. Along with those relationships comes a great amount of data offering deep insights into people’s health. By applying deep analytics, that information is brought to individuals, their physicians, and Humana teammates who can help them improve their mental and physical health. It all starts with an accurate understanding of their health, a starting point, where you can identify gaps and solutions in a highly personalized way.

2. Make it Easy: Keep people engaged through customized and caring interactions.

Inside: No successful health journey is a solo effort. Experiences that deliver tailored help through the influence and support of others make positive changes much easier. In a working-age population, these often should focus on preventing the onset or progression of chronic disease, plus strengthening emotional resilience and other whole-person aspects of health. Our employees can work with a health and well-being coach to develop a plan and learn how to make specific life changes that stick.

Likewise, sitting too much at work is a challenge for all of us. Combined with unhealthy eating habits, the risk of diabetes is something we need to address, especially since nine out of 10 diabetes cases can be prevented with proactive engagement. If you have employees who are at risk for diabetes, reaching them with opportunities for prevention makes good sense. Thousands of our employees have positively responded to customized programs, such as digital and onsite group diabetes prevention programs that also include coaching and caring supports from their peers. Meet your employees where they are with customized programs.

Outside: High-impact interactions can help people slow the progression of chronic diseases. The fundamental opportunity here is the power of prevention and engagement to alter health destinies in people’s lives. Through telephonic or in-person relationships with clinicians, health coaches and other teammates, our members get engaged in clinical programs that make their road to better health easier, even if managing multiple chronic diseases. When our members welcome a nurse into their homes, for example, they are interacting where health happens most.

3. Make it Affordable: People must have access to high-value services that matter.

Inside: Financial concerns are a leading source of stress in many workplace employee surveys across America. Moreover, employees may defer or avoid the care they need to prevent or treat illness if faced with significant financial constraints. We have made a concentrated effort to remove key financial barriers to health. For example, we made a whole suite of preventive medications available at no cost to our employees, treating everything from cardiovascular problems to diabetes. Not only have burdens been eased, but successful adherence to these medicines – so important to condition management – has increased significantly.

Likewise, affordable, preventive services and physician office visits were made available. We leveraged our onsite care facilities and supported visits to primary care physicians, and we continue providing health and well-being coaching and other lifestyle health improvement programs at no cost.

Outside: In our Medicare Advantage membership, affordability is key. Value-based care physicians are reimbursed more, based on the health of the patients they serve, rather than the services they deliver. Everyone wins when better health happens. Likewise, access to preventive services and ongoing primary care is encouraged so that out-of-pocket costs do not become a barrier.

What’s next?

As I said in our Bold Goal Progress Report, “positive change doesn’t happen overnight; it’s the result of strong collaboration, steadfast resolve and innovative thinking.” Results take time. We aim to reach our Bold Goal, and beyond.

We’ve all heard that culture trumps strategy, and it’s true. Though we have a long way to go, our results are made possible by a culture based on inspiring health, thriving together and rethinking our routines.

I would encourage every organization to have a Bold Goal. Be audacious. Take risk. Go beyond the financials.

Your employees – and your customers – will be better for it.

Read Full Article

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 — Is a Positive Nudge Better than Fear? — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

Fear is used to influence how we behave, how we shop, how we save, what we eat, how much we exercise. From purchasing the safest car to baby-proofing our homes, fear drives us in many ways.

But is fear effective in health? Yes, people will lose weight because they’re afraid of having a heart attack. Yet others will lose weight because they want to have more energy to do the things they love and have a longer, more fulfilling life. When it comes to changing behaviors, is fear the best motivator?

In health care, our ability to change unhealthy behaviors – and thus improve outcomes and lower costs – will determine the sustainability of the system. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “86 percent of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions.”

Chronic conditions are the most preventable of health issues because they’re the result of unhealthy decisions made over time. This leads to a question: How do you “nudge” people toward positive behavior change?

I recently finished the revised and expanded edition of a book called Nudge, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. The authors offer several insights on how unhealthy behaviors can be corrected.

Here are four concepts from the book that grabbed my attention and how each can be used to change unhealthy behaviors among seniors and those living with multiple chronic conditions:

#1: Frame the choice without the negative. Thaler and Sunstein examine how a person with a serious heart disease is presented with a “grueling operation.” They state the following:

“The doctor says, ‘of one hundred patients who have this operation, ninety are alive after five years.’ What will you do? If we fill in the facts in a certain way, the doctor’s statement will be pretty comforting, and you’ll probably have the operation. But suppose the doctor frames his answer in a somewhat different way…‘Of one hundred patients who have this operation, ten are dead after five years.’” Thaler and Sunstein go on to say, “If you’re like most people, the doctor’s statement will sound pretty alarming, and you might not have the operation.” The same goes for doctors themselves. “When doctors are told that ‘ninety of one hundred are alive,’ they are more likely to recommend the operation than if told that ‘ten of one hundred are dead.’”

The Nudge: Physicians, nurses, care professionals and caregivers who care for seniors living with multiple chronic conditions have much influence. It’s natural for a senior not to want to undergo an operation where there is risk. Thaler and Sunstein note that “a good way to increase people’s fear of a bad outcome is to remind them of a related incident in which things went wrong; a good way to increase people’s confidence is to remind them of a similar situation in which everything worked out for the best.” Nudges that frame the positives, while highlighting the ideal outcome, will help people take steps to evolve from unhealthy behaviors.

#2: Don’t underestimate the power of priming. Referred to by the authors as “the somewhat mysterious workings of the Automatic System of the brain,” the concept has been proven to show that “subtle influences can increase the ease with which certain information comes to mind.” The authors write:

“With respect to health-related behavior, significant changes have been produced by measuring people’s intentions. If people are asked how often they expect to floss their teeth in the next week, they floss more. If people are asked whether they intend to consume fatty foods in the next week, they consume less in the way of fatty foods. The nudge provided by asking people what they intend to do can be accentuated by asking them when and how they plan to do it.”

The Nudge: Consistent patient engagement is essential, especially when focused on sustaining behavior change. Physicians don’t have a lot of time outside the office for helping patients make better daily decisions. But by nudging the patient, the care team shows an active interest in the patient’s health and can improve outcomes.

#3: Incentives are a better option than talking down to someone. Thaler and Sunstein describe how a simple nudge can lower the teen pregnancy rate, saying teenage mothers “often become pregnant again within a year or two.”

The two cite a “dollar a day” program, “by which teenage girls with a baby receive a dollar for each day in which they are not pregnant…A dollar a day is a trivial cost to the city, even for a year or two, so the plan’s total cost is extremely low, but the small recurring payment is salient enough to encourage teenage mothers to take steps to avoid getting pregnant again. And because taxpayers end up paying a significant amount for many children born to teenagers, the costs appear to be far less than the benefits.”

The Nudge: Sustaining action requires sustained commitment. For seniors living with chronic diseases like Congestive Heart Failure, where the heart weakens over time, life is already difficult. Positive encouragement, through nudging from the care teams, can help them stay the course.

#4: People can make good decisions when presented with non-biased facts. In the bonus chapter, Thaler and Sunstein discuss how New York City adopted a law requiring fast-food chains to display the caloric intake of each of their foods. The authors applaud the preference of mandating information vs. mandating ingredients.

The Nudge: Many of us have experienced this nudge by reading the information in fast-food restaurants. It’s a powerful influence because it doesn’t pass judgment on an option; it merely states the impact of the decision. Making someone feel guilty for his or her unhealthy decisions over a lifetime won’t change behavior.

For far too long, health in our country has been marketed through fear. Given how unhealthy our country has become, it’s time for a change.

Health is hard, especially for seniors living with multiple chronic conditions, limited financial means, and often limited support from family and friends. We have to avoid talking down to people and painting dire scenarios.

At Humana, we’re responsible for the health and well-being of 14 million Americans; 3.3 million of them are Medicare Advantage members, and many of them are living with chronic conditions. I’ve seen firsthand how a nudge – not fear – from a physician, nurse or other care team member can help a person change behavior for the better.

Let’s build a healthier country with helpful nudges, not fear.

Read Full Article