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Humana CEO Bruce Broussard: Time to Change Business Models and Move Towards Value-Based Payment--With Interoperability

April 14, 2015
by Mark Hagland
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In his Tuesday keynote address, Humana’s Broussard called for transformation—and interoperability—in healthcare

In a keynote address on Tuesday morning, April 14 at HIMSS15, being held at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Humana president and CEO Bruce Broussard appealed to healthcare IT leaders to join in the transformation of the industry and to help their colleagues build a transformed U.S. healthcare system built on value-based care delivery and payment.

“We have to change the conversation on what we are doing in healthcare from a supply-based system to a system around demand, a system where we put the customer first as opposed to the system,” Broussard said. “Over the years, healthcare has been built by creating more and more supply. I hope I leave today by convincing you that we have to change the focus towards how we improve health for our customers, members, and patients.”

Broussard opined that all stakeholders in healthcare are responsible for the current situation, including health insurers, employers, providers, and consumers. “The thing that we have to do is that we have to change our perspective to, where is the customer?” he told his audience. “I represent an industry and represent a company, that is part of the problem. We realize that we have to change. What’s happened over the years is that the consumer is at the middle of the problem; the provider is the one at the middle of the problem. They’re the ones who make the system work, that connect the system. Amazing statistics bring this alive,” he said. “Of of the three trillion dollars spent in healthcare today, one trillion wasted, $200 billion on administrative costs, $250 billion on over-treatment, $150 billion on red tape.”

Humana CEO Bruce Broussard addresses HIMSS

Broussard  touted recent results from his own health plan. “About 55 percent of our members are in some relationship with providers being reimbursed  through some form of value-based payment,” he said.  “And among those plan members, we’ve seen about a 25 percent improvement in HEDIS scores, and 20 percent lower costs, in those programs,  and a 10 percent reduction in ER visits and readmissions. And so it’s not only a great alignment for provider and payer, but it’s really doing some great things for the individual and for society.”

Broussard said consumers must be brought squarely into the conversation and given incentives to improve their health, in a population health-driven industry. He also praised the Department of Health and Human Services for calling for a swift transition to the bulk of provider payments under Medicare being at least partly value-based and quality-based within a few years.

Meanwhile, he also called for a strong push towards interoperability, saying that “Interoperability is a good place to start,” in terms of create a more efficient and cost-effective U.S. healthcare system. “I know it’s difficult,” he said. “It’s a tough transition. But when you look at the industries that have gone through the transition, those industries have ended up strengthened. And we’re going to have to change business models,” he said, citing Apple, the Charles Schwab company, and HBO, as examples of companies that have transformed how they do business through changing their business models over time.