Humana’s value-based care report has shown how physician practices in value-based agreements are increasing preventive care, improving health outcomes and quality measures, and lowering overall health care costs for Humana Medicare Advantage (MA) members.

This video features a panel discussion of care professionals discussing the report.

Written by physicians, the report details the clinical and economic impact of integrated care delivery, examining patient care and the experience of physicians. The report, which can be accessed here, also details physician progress controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and medication adherence for people with diabetes.

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Leaders from Humana and the University of Houston – who recently announced a long-term strategic partnership to train health care professionals in population health and value-based care as a means of improving health outcomes – met recently in Houston to build relationships and set priorities for their goal of advancing the science of primary care.

More than 50 leaders from both organizations gathered to advance collaboration on the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston, which will unite the Colleges of Medicine, 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.

On December 6, Humana will host an event on the University of Houston campus to formally kick off the Institute. This event will be focused primarily on students, culminating with a student poster competition to advance thought leadership in three core areas important to the institute:

• Inter-professional education and Integrated Care Delivery
• Population health and social determinants of health
• Value-based care and innovative reimbursement models

Participants in the event will include UH students, faculty and staff, as well as community leaders, Humana leaders and clinicians.

“We are thrilled with how this partnership with the University of Houston and Humana has started,” said Tray Cockerell, Director of Strategic Relationships in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. “Our colleagues at the university are passionate about working together to train a new generation of clinicians in an educational model that focuses on integrated care delivery and value-based reimbursement, as well as improving health outcomes primarily focused on the underserved population in Houston and the rest of Texas.” Cockerell added, “This relationship with the University of Houston is a fantastic way for us to advance the science of Primary Care.”

The ultimate goal is 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. The result will be better healthcare in Houston, the U.S. and beyond.

Humana brings to the partnership more than 50 years of experience in care delivery and health plan administration, along with an integrated-care model that improves health and well-being and lowers costs. The University of Houston brings world-class academics, ground-breaking research and an innovative approach to health education.

The University of Houston is an ideal partner to advance and support Humana’s integrated care delivery approach. The relationship enables Humana to play a formative role in shaping the new medical school, which includes UH’s new college of Medicine, as well as existing colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Optometry. The partners will engage in research that furthers treatment models and the overall advancement of clinical sciences in primary care, nursing, visual health, social work and pharmacy, including the delivery of high-value care and value-based payment models. The program will train health professionals to thrive in and shape health systems based on evidence-based approaches developed through the Institute’s research.

There will be a strong emphasis on engaging the local community and improving social determinants of health, such as loneliness, social isolation and food insecurity.

Both Humana and the University of Houston expect that the partnership will yield abundant opportunities for collaboration, including:

• Adjunct professorships and teaching opportunities for Humana subject matter experts
• Opportunities to partner in shaping curricula in a wide range of topics, including value-based payment, home-based care, population health, data analytics and more
• Partnership on research and publications
• The establishment of value-based care clinic labs for University of Houston health sciences students and medical residents
• Internships and rotation programs to provide practical experience

The partnership will also build a talent pipeline of graduates who believe in, train in and will practice population health.

The UH College of Medicine is scheduled to admit 30 students in its inaugural class in 2020, pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Texas Legislature, and accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, ultimately growing to full enrollment of 480 students.

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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 — 21st Century Solutions for 20th Century Problems — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

We all know health care is being transformed: from the emergence of remote, real-time monitoring to the continued adoption of value-based-care payment models, disruptive technologies are improving health care.

Yet despite the progress, health care is facing challenges.

Take demographics, such as population. Each day, 10,000 Americans turn 65, and the number of people over 65 is expected to grow from 46 million today to 98 million by 2060. We’ll need more caregivers, as there are now about 34.2 million people who have provided care to an adult age 50 or older.

Now look at the health of those people. Three in four Americans over the age of 65 are living with multiple chronic conditions. Unlike episodic treatment, caring for those with chronic conditions requires proactive prevention, assistance with lifestyle decisions, and multiple specialists to treat complex, serious diseases such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, etc.

So with more unhealthy people over the age of 65, how do we prepare primary care physicians, nurses, social workers and caregivers to handle this wave of change?

Primary care physicians are the centerpiece

These population and health factors are putting significant demands on nurses, social workers, pharmacists and primary care physicians who assist people living with chronic conditions.

Research has shown growing demand for these key professions. For example, there is a projected shortfall of between 14,800 and 49,300 primary care physicians by 2030.

These demographic and health challenges require the health care system to evolve – away from episodic care and toward holistic health, where the care for a person living with multiple chronic conditions is managed by the primary care physician.

If we’re to help prepare the next generation of health professionals, their education and training must evolve as well. Clinical models that slow disease progression and payment models that incentivize quality and cost savings must be integrated into the system. In addition, daily workflows that allow more time with fewer patients are essential.

Yet it’s not just the clinical. It’s important to partner with local charities and community agencies to address social determinants of health – food insecurity, social isolation and loneliness.

Medical schools are starting to change

Today, a select number of medical schools are evolving their curriculums to help the next generation of clinicians, including primary care physicians, embrace holistic health.

Holistic care is most effective when care is integrated, which occurs when multiple clinicians (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and optometrists) are all aligned in a value-based model and working with one another to deliver a better patient experience and better outcomes. We need to build an integrated educational system to care for patients in this value world, and everyone has to work well together to make this a reality.

Recently, Humana and the University of Houston’s newly established College of Medicine announced that we’re going to build the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute at the University of Houston. We’ll train physicians and other clinicians in integrated care delivery through a collaborative partnership with a focus on “advancing population health, improving health outcomes and expanding the use of value-based payment models.”

The new school will also integrate Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy and Social Work. Social workers will be an integral element for taking care of underserved populations because they’re a key link between patients and community resources.

Working, thinking and building differently

Better management of chronic conditions, and addressing the social determinants of health that amplify them, is essential for transforming our health care system.

If we want to help primary care physicians and clinicians, then all entities in health care — universities, industry and government — must band together to advance the science of primary care. We’re moving to a consumer-focused health care system that’s integrated and personalized, and it will improve the health of the people it’s meant to serve.

Advancing care means we have to work differently, think differently and build differently.

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As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on what – and who – makes us grateful. For some, it’s their caregivers – not just those in paid positions but their family and friends who help them with their daily activities and medical needs.

I think it’s fitting that the month of November is also National Caregiver’s Month. It’s something I think we can all relate to, whether we’ve received special care, witnessed an amazing caregiver help someone we love, or been a caregiver ourselves. The “face” of a caregiver is diverse. It’s not just the individual who takes care of an elderly, frail parent or grandparent. It’s the spouse who cares for his wife living with multiple sclerosis. It’s the neighbor who checks on a disabled vet. It’s a middle-aged parent caring for her 20-year-old child addicted to opioids.

But how often do we think of caregiving in the workplace?

At Humana, it may be easier to make that leap: Obviously, we are in the health care industry, and our focus is on finding ways to improve people’s lives by improving their health and well-being. Our internal culture supports this, and we vigilantly try to live our company values, which not only build a foundation for providing this care to those outside of our company but also within our company. I’ve always loved our name – HUMANA – with “human” at its root. It’s part of our identity – caregiving – and if we don’t take care of each other on the job each day, how can we be well, heartfelt and equipped to care for our members?

This means thinking of caregiving in a new light – one in which companies embrace the responsibility and opportunity to take care of their employees in a variety of ways, and one in which employees commit to taking care of each other so we can think, feel and do our best in both our personal and professional lives. They are interdependent.

I would challenge you as employers, as leaders, and as employees to keep this in mind when you come to work each day, when you shape policies and processes, and when you interact with your colleagues – your very human counterparts. In addition to asking about analytics reporting and sales figures, don’t forget to ask each other: How are you doing? What’s on your mind? Is something troubling you? Is there anything I can do to help? Just like you, your teammates require nurturing, guidance and friendship. In the end, it’s about people-focused awareness, proactive outreach, empathy and kindness.

The other thought that’s been floating around in my head is this: How can we do more — do better — in taking care of caregivers?

Here, I’m mostly referring to the more traditional family/friend caregiver role. How can we make changes that will have a true impact on the caregiver’s well-being?

Caregiving can take an immense toll on those who find themselves in that role – physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. I can speak with some degree of authority, as I was a loving caregiver to my late wife, who suffered from and eventually succumbed to Hodgkin’s disease when we were in our early 30s. While caregiving can be a highly personal privilege, it can also wreak havoc on every aspect of one’s life, including relationships, work and other competing responsibilities. The role often requires countless hours of time and energy and a persistent strength to get through challenging times, all while trying to show a brave face and energetic spirit to those who require the care. After all, we tell ourselves, “they” have enough to deal with – ailing, recuperating or living through daily hardships from illness or injury. We must not add to the burden.

The challenge is growing, because the caregiver population is increasing each year. Current statistics indicate that we have more than 43 million unpaid caregivers in the United States. And the needs are becoming more complex; for example, the number of people with dementia is expected to triple by 2060.

At Humana, we’ve seen the trend, and we’re trying to help.

Internally, we allow two weeks of annual paid caregiver leave for our employees who need it, and we have an employee-led Caregiver Network Resource Group. We are also exploring ways to help our members and their caregivers and intend to offer new supplemental respite care benefits in some plans in select markets in 2019. We are proud to offer such resources and benefits to caregivers, and we will continue to search for new ways of helping this expanding group.

This month in particular, I encourage you to expand your definition and thinking around caregivers. Think of yourself as a caregiver in your workplace, even if you are not one in your home. And please do your part in lifting the awareness about caregivers – their many faces and their many needs – so we can all work together to grow a strong support system to take care of those in need. After all, we are all humans who need care … and we are all caregivers.

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Humana has been honored with the top 5-star rating in employment by the 2018 HACR Corporate Inclusion Index (HACR CII), a research initiative conducted by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and the HACR Research Institute to measure Hispanic inclusion in corporate America.

Humana also received high marks in the categories of governance, philanthropy and procurement.

The employment category assessed:

• Recruitment, hiring, attrition and turnover
• Inclusive development opportunities with goals (internships, mentoring, sponsorships, succession planning)
• Success of a Hispanic Network Resource Group (Humana’s Unidos NRG has over 1,500 members. Twenty-nine percent of Humana associates are in at least one NRG)
• Overall I&D strategy and leadership support

“We’re honored to be on this list, because it speaks to our goal of having a culture where every associate feels welcome, appreciated and encouraged to speak up and provide their unique perspectives,” said Maria Hughes, Senior Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Humana. “Our associates reflect the communities in which we work, increasing engagement and innovation as we help our members achieve their own best health.”

The HACR CII survey lets companies better understand the needs of the evolving Hispanic community, develop Hispanic initiatives, and make significant progress toward greater Hispanic inclusion in the business world.

“By adopting Hispanic inclusiveness, companies are cultivating a corporate culture that promotes forward thinking, which sustains their ability to outpace competitors,” said Dr. Lisette Garcia, HACR senior vice president and COO of HACR’s Board of Directors.

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