Humana bets on 'lifestyle medicine' to help reduce chronic conditions


Humana is investing in "lifestyle medicine"--an approach that aims to reduce chronic conditions by emphasizing healthful eating, exercise and community support, reported the Courier-Journal.

As part of its lifestyle medicine initiative, Humana has opened 29 guidance centers across the country, including in its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. These centers help consumers with conditions like obesity, heart disease and diabetes maintain their health with Zumba, yoga and dancing classes. Plus, consumers can attend healthy cooking demonstrations. And the guidance centers staff customer service representatives to answer members' questions about coverage or billing.

Humana plans to open more guidance centers, including in Louisiana and North Carolina, Marisa Rowell, Humana's director of consumer engagement, told the Courier-Journal.

Although Humana wouldn't disclose how much it has invested in the Louisville center, officials told the Courier-Journal that they've seen a "lower disenrollment rate" from participants in the 18 months since it opened.

The insurer is hoping its lifestyle medicine initiative will help address the fact that more than 50 percent of healthcare dollars are associated with lifestyle conditions.

Humana is well-versed in what it takes to change behavior; its HumanaVitality wellness program has cut unscheduled absences from work by 56 percent and monthly claims costs by an average of $53 for more than 13,000 employees. "It's a great focused effort to get people to understand that they can make changes, even if it's a step at a time," HumanaVitality CEO Joe Woods CEO told FierceHealthPayer in a previous interview.

To learn more:
- read the Courier-Journal article

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