Humana partnerships

Accolade and Humana announced today an expansion of their existing partnership that includes a $20 million strategic investment from Humana. The investment comes as Humana affirms its commitment to advance member engagement within its offerings for commercial employer groups, leveraging Accolade to strengthen its consumer-optimized health platform.

Humana and Accolade first announced their partnership in March 2019, where both companies agreed to integrate their capabilities to create a differentiated healthcare and benefits experience for individuals and their employers. The companies are expanding their partnership agreement as they continue to create personalized and simplified member experiences and leverage new opportunities around solution flexibility, service delivery, partner integration, and economic value in healthcare.

Specifically, the strategic investment will allow the two organizations to tailor the Humana with Accolade solution for a broader base of fully-insured and ASO prospects and clients. The investment will enable robust integrations and seamless engagement options that make it easy for new members to access convenient and affordable care. Humana and Accolade will also significantly expand geographies in 2020 and beyond, while building out the teams needed to support product and market expansion.

“Accolade is doing highly unique work in the healthcare space, as their connected platform and personalized service create impressive member satisfaction and value for employers,” said Chris Hunter, president of Humana’s Group and Military Segment. “Given our existing relationship, we see the opportunity for Accolade to emerge as a key element of the value proposition for Humana’s employer group business, further enhancing the benefits of the service to our joint customers and their members.”

Humana with Accolade Advantage

Humana recognizes the value of a strengthened relationship with Accolade based on the Accolade service model, supported by an advanced machine learning and intelligence engine that produces highly personalized services across an entire member population. With dedicated Health Assistants and Clinicians, mobile and online messaging, a fully integrated benefits center, member activation campaigns, and intelligent insights, Accolade shows an increase in program utilization among its members. Accolade achieves measurable member satisfaction and cost savings for its employer customers, while reducing complexity, time and waste.

Humana with Accolade brings employers and their health plan members the benefit of Humana’s provider networks and innovative medical, dental, pharmacy, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Work-life Services, and Go365 wellness reward program capabilities, together with Accolade’s robust member engagement services and integrated health and benefits partner programs. With a mission to dramatically improve member engagement, experience, outcomes and costs in healthcare, Humana with Accolade leverages an open and intelligent platform and a personalized advocacy solution to create a whole person, whole population health offering for its self-funded employer clients, their employees and families.

“Humana has been a supportive and successful partner from day one, and we’re happy to extend our relationship to a level that more deeply aligns our vision and supports our product and service delivery in exciting ways,” said Rajeev Singh, Accolade CEO. “We have long seen the value of industry collaboration, leveraging people-centric innovation, and Humana is a model in the industry with their approach for how companies can align for mutual benefit and success.”

Humana with Accolade is currently available in the Milwaukee, Wis., and Cincinnati, Ohio, areas. For more information on Humana with Accolade or to see a demonstration of their shared solution, please contact inquiries@accolade.com.

SVB Leerink LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to Humana in connection with the transaction.

About Accolade
Accolade is a leader in personalized health and benefits solutions that dramatically improves the experience, outcomes and cost of healthcare for employers, health plans and their members. With a unique blend of compassionate advisors, clinical experts and intelligent technologies, we engage individuals and families in their health, establish trust, and influence their decisions at every stage of care. Accolade connects the widest array of personal health data and programs to present a single point of entry to the most effective health and benefits resources, while coordinating with providers at every step. Accolade consistently achieves 60 and higher Net Promoter Scores, 98% consumer satisfaction ratings, and up to 15% employer cost savings. Accolade has been recognized as one of the nation’s 25 most promising companies by Forbes, a fastest-growing private healthcare company by Inc. 5000, and is consistently rated a Top Workplace across the country. For more information, visit www.accolade.com.

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With a mission to address significant health disparities and unsustainably high health care costs in the United States, the University of Houston has hired an accomplished physician and leader in medical education and health services research to direct the Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute. Dr. LeChauncy Woodard becomes the first director of the Humana Institute, which is committed to producing high-impact research that changes policy, innovative educational programs that prepare a new generation of health care providers and novel programs that support community transformation.

Woodard is a general internist and joins the UH College of Medicine after two decades at Baylor College of Medicine where she held several faculty positions in the departments of internal medicine, family and community medicine and more. She was also the director of the Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity because the unique partnership with Humana provides the foundation to unite the existing health disciplines at UH with the new College of Medicine which will enable our students to collaborate and lead integrated health care teams to increase the value and quality of care for patients,” said Woodard, whose vast research portfolio includes a focus on quality of care, treatment and prevention of chronic diseases, health disparities, and the interrelated social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to health outcomes.

Woodard said she plans to harness UH’s research expertise and form cross-disciplinary teams to tackle the most pressing complex health care problems. “I’m particularly excited to work with the underserved communities of Houston because I grew up in one. I believe that if we take care of the sickest people then we can elevate the health of the entire population.”

Woodard grew up in the Acres Homes neighborhood of northwest Houston where poverty is high and access to health care is low. Her late father’s struggle with chronic illness fueled her passion for medicine and desire to improve health disparities.

“It really impacts the quality of life for the whole family and limits the things you’re able to do,” she said. “I look forward to contributing in a meaningful way to address this problem.”

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Woodard join the UH family to lead the Humana Institute,” said Tray Cockerell, Strategic Relationships, Office of the Chief Medical Officer at Humana. “Dr. Woodard’s background, experience and passion for improving the health of individuals and communities aligns perfectly with our mission. She also understands the importance of integrating the components of care delivery – medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work and other non-traditional components of the healthcare system – to achieve value in healthcare.  She will be an excellent director of the Humana Institute.”

Along with serving on the College of Medicine faculty in the Department of Health Systems and Population Health Sciences and the Department of Clinical Sciences, she will treat patients at Lone Star Circle of Care, the Federally Qualified Health Center in UH’s Health 2 building.

“Dr. Woodard is a compassionate and confident physician, educator and researcher with an impressive track record and even brighter future. She’s the perfect fit to lead the Humana Institute and our charge to transform the health care system,” said Dr. Stephen Spann, founding dean of the College of Medicine. “Her professional and personal experiences with health disparities and quality of care will ignite development of new health care models to make the system more effective, equitable and patient-centered.”

The Humana Integrated Health System Sciences Institute was launched in September 2018 with a $15 million gift from Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) to help defray start-up and operational costs for the College of Medicine, as well as fund endowed chairs at the colleges of nursing, pharmacy, social work, optometry and medicine. The College of Medicine is scheduled to admit thirty students in its inaugural class pending accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

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Imagine going to get your hair done and also being able to get your blood pressure checked at the same time at no extra cost. It is possible now at 15 salons and barbershops across Kansas City. The new “More Healthy Days” Barbershop and Beauty Salon Tour creates a one-stop shop for hair and health serving people living in Kansas City with limited access to care.  In partnership with the Black Health Care Coalition, Humana is tackling barriers to care like cost and accessibility at the local level. 

Earlier this month, Humana and the Black Health Care Coalition hosted a panel discussion and health screenings at Diana’s Hair Care and Styling in Kansas City. The discussion highlighted how meeting people where they are and leveraging relationships between stylists and customers encourages people to take steps toward better health.

“This initiative makes screening for a few common health issues — like high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension — accessible for anybody in the community,” said Marvin Hill, Corporate Communications Lead for Humana.  “Improving population health is a long-term investment, so partnering with local grass-roots organizations is essential.”

This effort is part of the Bold Goal initiative and brings healthcare to people who have not always had easy access in the past. It is a step toward addressing the significant health disparities that currently exist in minority populations. Each stop on the tour will provide free medical screening and wellness resources at participating salons in the area, including biometric testing, Parkinson’s screenings, social determinants of health screening, exercise classes and more.  Part of Humana’s Bold Goal is screening 1 million people by the end of 2019.

This arm of the “More Healthy Days” campaign will also address other social determinants of health, such as social isolation and food insecurity, which are associated with adverse health outcomes. Click here to view the list of participating barber shop and beauty salon locations.

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A group of physicians and healthcare leaders at a recent event convened by Humana aimed to to understand what the medical practitioner’s role should be in addressing food insecurity as part of improving patient outcomes. This article appeared in Healthcare Innovation.

By Drs. Toyin Ajayi and Andrew Renda

It’s an unfortunate truth that in our current healthcare system, too-short, too-packed appointments often mean that providers do not have time to understand all that is going on with their patients beyond the walls of their practices.While the treatments we prescribe address their physical symptoms, we know little about the social, economic and environmental challenges our patients face that impede their health. These social determinants of health (SDoH)—like reliable transportation, nutritious food, stable housing, community and human connection—are critical to health and well-being. Yet, the way that medicine is still widely practiced, especially in lower-income communities, is extremely costly, fragmented, and fails to produce the health outcomes and cost efficiencies we all want.

One of the most prevalent and harmful barriers to good health is lack of access to enough nutritious food. Food insecurity leads to higher rates of chronic disease, emergency department visits and hospitalizations, driving $77.5 billion in related healthcare costs. We cannot expect to improve health and reduce costs if we do not first ensure that patients eat well. This is no small issue: adults experiencing poverty, who presumably lack consistent healthful food, have a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and stroke, depression, disability—even premature mortality.

So why is food insecurity not considered a clinical gap in care? Shouldn’t all providers have a responsibility to diagnose social determinants of health, as they would other medical conditions?

These were the questions posed to a group of physicians and healthcare leaders at a recent TEDMED event convened by Humana, aiming to understand what the medical practitioner’s role should be in addressing food insecurity as part of improving patient outcomes.

This will require a major restructuring of the roles and responsibilities of healthcare providers. Beyond that, we need to implement interventions using technology platforms, validated screening tools and referral sources, as well as new code sets and payment models, to enable physicians to make it standard practice.

How do we make this work?

Community provider-driven care teams. For physicians to feasibly address SDoH requires a significant shift to a team-based approach that reaches well beyond the walls of the medical practice and into the communities where patients live.

This team-based, flexible approach is the foundation that Cityblock Health is built on. Multidisciplinary care teams are led by Community Health Partners – individuals from within the community who understand the experiences of people living there. Community Health Partners meet members where they are, taking time to understand what is going on in patients’ lives and connecting them to the right resources. They enhance the clinical team’s understanding of members’ realities and design interventions for their specific needs. Team-based models necessitate a significant role change for physicians, one that embraces working closely with non-medical, community-based partners.

Value-based care. Few reimbursement systems are currently set up to adequately pay medical practices for time and resources spent treating social determinants of health like food insecurity. Value-based models, where reimbursements depend on patient outcomes, encourage and allow room for care teams to address all aspects of health—from medical and behavioral health conditions to social needs— as equally critical in every patient’s care.

In value-based care models, we then need to develop clear measures tied to addressing social determinants of health and their impact on outcomes.

Evidence and outcomes. Currently, there is limited evidence of which approaches are most effective at improving health outcomes and providing a return on investment. However, one example showing real benefits are medically-tailored, home delivered meal programs for the elderly. These programs have been shown to improve clinical outcomes including blood pressure and diabetes control, and help to curtail emergency department visits and inpatient admissions for adults who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare.

It’s critical we establish methods and metrics to expand evidence-based programs and measure various approaches that address SDoH. As part of that effort, Humana is currently working with the National Quality Forum to define quality measures around food insecurity. This will enable us to standardize benchmark measurements and expectations to help physicians effectively address food insecurity; and to incentivize and reward based on validated measures tied to patient outcomes.

We’re in the early stages, but there is growing momentum for treating these issues as clinical gaps in care. To make real progress toward that end, decision-makers across healthcare—from policymakers to health plan and health system executives— will need to align on a shared vision and efforts to address patients’ comprehensive health and social needs. Physicians alone cannot cure food insecurity; but we can be powerful partners in holistically addressing the needs of our patients and communities.

Toyin Ajayi, M.D., is the chief health officer at Cityblock Health and Andrew Renda, M.D., is the corporate strategy director, population health, at Humana.

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Technology helps people reach out to and connect with friends, families and loved ones. Sometimes, a text message or an email from someone special can turn a bad day into an amazing one.

That’s the idea behind Senior Planet San Antonio, specially designed classes developed by OATS and funded by a Humana Foundation grant. By helping seniors learn to use technology to connect with others, it’s possible to change the way people age by addressing social isolation and loneliness, two key social determinants of health. And, by learning a new skill, participants often feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Watch this video and get to know Guadalupe and Gary, two seniors who take Senior Planet San Antonio classes.  Their stories are part of Humana’s 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report and examples of the many ways Humana is inspiring health and well-being.

As Gary says, “I’m enjoying things as good as I ever have in my entire life – just because of knowing a little bit about computers and cell phones.”

Together, Humana, the Humana Foundation and OATS are helping San Antonio seniors stay connected to their families, friends and communities and lead their best lives.

For more information on Humana’s CSR efforts, read the 2018 CSR Report.

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