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Partnerships help Humana reap better 'Return on Health'


Guest post by Chris Kay, chief innovation officer of Humana

There's a paradigm shift going on in the U.S. healthcare system. It's a shift from volume to value, a shift from cost to care. And it's being driven by consumer expectations.

To stay relevant, we have to think in terms of lifetime value, as opposed to the cost of disease management for the members we serve. We have to invest in health as an end in its own.

But the reward is big, something I like to call ROH--Return on Health.

As an industry, we need to do a better job of designing around the consumer. How do we address their human needs every day, not just the few times a year that they see their doctor? The emerging business models in healthcare are going to be realized by quality, cost reduction and deep customer empathy.

At Humana, we've seen this changing landscape, and we've set a bold goal for ourselves: The communities we serve will be 20 percent healthier by 2020 because we make it easy for people to achieve their best health. And we've gone even further with our own employees, vowing that we ourselves will be 20 percent healthier by 2017. We're investing at home, and leading by example.

To make sure our approach is effective, we're going to measure it with a proven instrument developed specifically for population health management known as "Healthy Days." Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the measure asks people to rate their overall health as well as recent days of physical health, mental health and activity limitation.

I joined Humana a year and a half ago with a charter to innovate to help us achieve this bold goal. It's a daunting challenge, but also an inspiring opportunity.

>>Read the full commentary at Hospital Impact