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 — What does 2019 look like for health care? — is reprinted below. To see all of his blog posts, click here.

In the current environment, constant and negative debate over health care makes it easy for us to be down on our industry. But I’m excited about health care’s potential, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made.

I believe we are at the pivot point of greatly improving health care. More people are being treated under reimbursement models – like Medicare Advantage – that incent complete health, not just the delivery of care. In addition, advancements in digital technologies – such as home-based monitoring devices and personalized science – are increasing the opportunity to leverage the growing sophistication of analytics, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning.

Progress today and on the horizon

I’ve seen promising advancements in interoperability, which is empowering patients and resulting in better care. Interoperability gives doctors and other clinicians a complete view of the patient’s medical history, which increases the personalization and timeliness of care interventions.

We have been critical of electronic medical records, but EMRs have digitized millions of paper medical records, increasing the velocity and volume of information and allowing for more complete and timely decisions.

I see parallels in the history of banking. Interconnecting and digitizing bank transactions – and implementing interstate banking laws — permanently changed the banking structure, creating a more convenient and cheaper system. An example is how stock trades decreased from $75 to $.05 per trade. In health care, that degree of cost reduction would greatly expand the affordability of care and significantly reduce our federal and state deficits.

As I’ve written before, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has challenged the health care industry through the Blue Button initiative, which was designed to drive the necessary, useful interoperability to enable all physicians and all consumers to manage their health online, like they do with their bank accounts and investments.

Patient information needs to be shared, and we can’t encourage business models that impede the process. The good news is we’re moving in the right direction.

Experiencing it myself

For the last few months, I’ve experienced the future of interoperability firsthand by using my Apple Health Kit to download my own health data to my iPhone. Thanks to FHIR, which helps enable this process, I can easily view my patient information — from annual checkups to data such as blood pressure, weight and BMI.

Apple Health Records was launched just 11 months ago, and the company has been the first to gain traction on the EMR. Imagine what will happen when more iPhone users like me do this and the 100 million Android users in the U.S. catch on.

Such data doesn’t just help patients; it’s helping the physicians who care for them. At Humana, we’ve asked our 3.5 million Medicare Advantage members for permission to access their Medicare information – scripts, doctor visits, etc. We can then use this information to design and price health products specifically for them.

Data sharing, fueled by true interoperability, will stimulate innovation. Yet for adoption to increase, our industry must ensure that the experience is on par with online shopping, travel and financial experiences. In health care, this might show up as a primary care physician having real-time access to a list of all the drugs a patient is taking. That’s especially important in treating seniors, many of whom are living with multiple chronic conditions.

So what’s in store for 2019?

More companies will access data to create consumer-engaged business models that encourage competition, foster innovation, and, ultimately, disrupt and force our industry to evolve. We’ll see new and innovative products that help people with their health.

Successful innovations won’t be siloed; interoperability will help physicians make decisions supported by analytics. But technology will only take this so far. It’s up to physician and clinician offices, health plans, and government to help consumers have a real-time, detailed understanding of their health. Physicians, too, will have a truly holistic view of their patients.

Let’s continue to construct a competitive system that fosters a climate of innovation. In the end, we’ll make it easier for physicians to help their patients and for patients to help themselves.

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Forbes has taken note of Humana’s latest Value-Based Care Report, writing about how the shift from fee-for-service medicine to value-based payments for physicians is reducing costs and improving quality of care for seniors in Medicare Advantage plans.

Read the Forbes article here.

“Medical costs were nearly 16% lower for seniors enrolled in Humana Medicare Advantage plans that paid physicians via value-based models in 2017 compared to costs of those in traditional fee-for service Medicare,” Forbes said, citing the study.

“In the value-based approach, insurers reimburse providers for services plus additional pay if they meet quality measures, control costs and improve health outcomes of their patients. The traditional fee-for-service system pays for the volume of care delivered.”

The article quoted Dr. Laura Trunk, Humana medical director of provider development, who wrote in the report: “While we know that all physicians are committed to patient health, those in value-based care agreements have access to additional resources and capabilities to build the infrastructure they need to expand their reach outside the practice. Focusing on prevention and the whole health of their panel population allows physicians and their care teams to work more strategically to improve the care of their patients, thus keeping them home and out of the hospital and emergency room.”

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Have you ever knitted, crocheted or sewn a hat? How about hand-making more than 500 hats and then giving them to charity?

That’s exactly what the Humana Charity Crafters recently did, hand-making more than 500 hats, breast cancer pillows, blankets and stuffed animals to benefit cancer patients at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center. The donation was in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and Make a Difference Day on Oct. 27.

The Humana Charity Crafters are a group of mostly senior women who meet weekly in Mesa, Ariz., to knit, crochet and sew items for charity. The group is open to anyone and all crafting materials are provided by Humana. Together, this group finds purpose and connecting while giving back to their local community.

Want to learn more about the Humana Charity Crafters? Watch this short video from the 2016-2017 CSR Report.

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The Humana Foundation is investing $1.84 million to address social determinants of health in two communities – Knoxville, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla.

In Knoxville, the Humana Foundation will invest $1,020,000 in the Truck2Table pilot program and is partnering with InterFaith Health Clinic and Catapult 4D to address East Tennessee health barriers.

In Jacksonville, the Humana Foundation will invest $820,000 in the Health-Smart program and partner with the University of Florida to address social isolation and food insecurity.

Health-Smart brings together two existing health and wellness centers, six Health-Smart church centers and local stakeholders to create holistic health centers for minority, underserved and/or low-income Jacksonville seniors. The program features the Health-Smart Behavior Program and leverages Social Connections and Food Security Empowerment Coaches to increase participants’ physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being, social connections and food security. The program also includes Health-Smart group sessions led by trained coaches, connections to food security resources and job-seeking assistance, disease screening and referral as well as health insurance enrollment.

These investments are part of the Foundation’s new Strategic Community Investments work. Through the program, the Foundation will invest $7 million in 2018 in nonprofit organizations operating in seven communities: San Antonio, Texas; Louisville, Ky., Baton Rouge, La.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Broward County, Fla.

In each of these communities, Humana is pursuing its “Bold Goal” to improve the health of the communities Humana serves 20 percent by 2020.The Humana Foundation is investing in nonprofit organizations that address food security, social connection, post-secondary success (sustained employment) and asset security, four social determinants of health that significantly impact people’s overall health and well-being. Social determinants are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact overall health and well-being.

About the Humana Foundation
The Humana Foundation was established in 1981 as the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., one of the nation’s leading health and well-being companies. Located in Louisville, Ky., the Foundation seeks to co-create communities where leadership, culture, and systems work to improve and sustain positive health outcomes. For more information, visit

Humana and the Humana Foundation are dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility. Our goal is to ensure that every business decision we make reflects our commitment to improving the health and well-being of our members, our employees, the communities we serve, and our planet.

About InterFaith Health Clinic
InterFaith Health Clinic was established in 1991 to serve the low-income, working uninsured and underserved and to date has provided over 400,000 patient encounters to more than 24,000 individual patients. InterFaith provides comprehensive access to medical, dental, mental health, and prescription drug services and charges patients according to a sliding fee scale based on household size and income. With a small paid staff and a large network of volunteers, InterFaith receives financial support from individuals, foundations, area churches, city and county governments, civic organizations, the United Way of Greater Knoxville, and the state of Tennessee.

About Catapult 4D
Catapult 4D is a Knoxville-based development company specializing in health technology. Believing that a healthy business case can also provide great benefit to society, Catapult 4D strives to connect key players across sectors to identify achievable solutions to complex problems. The team at Catapult 4D is committed to social entrepreneurship, strategic thinking, and remaining nimble in a fast-paced environment. For more information, visit or contact

About the University of Florida
The University of Florida, the state’s flagship university, serves almost 56,000 students from 49 states and most countries. With five professional schools and 200 research, service and education centers, bureaus, and institutes on a single 2,000-acre campus, UF offers educational opportunities matched by only seven universities worldwide. UF alumni total more than 415,000, with alumni residing in every U.S. state and more than 150 nations. It is ranked No. 8 in the most recent U.S. News and World Report’s list of public universities.

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