Medicare Advantage members fared well during the pandemic, Humana Bold Goal found

For those of us in healthcare, we are humbled by the opportunity to partner with patients to help them solve complex and highly personal challenges. Looking at the growing pandemic, we are experiencing a greater urgency to accelerate our efforts to connect people to resources that alleviate their welfare concerns every day.

In Humana, where our goal is to make it easier for people and communities to achieve their best health, there has been a call to action; we come together to create solutions with our community and business partners. Our recently published Bold Goal Progress Report details the results of these efforts and shows that members of Humana Medicare Advantage will maintain their overall health throughout the course of 2020 and throughout the 2020 pandemic.

Specifically, we have seen results in a number of areas that speak directly to partnerships, interventions, and collective progress made across all of our Bold Goal communities:

• Humana has helped its Medicare Advantage members maintain their overall quality of life in terms of health by 2020, while actually improving their Physically Healthy Days by 1.3% by 2019.

• Some of the most vulnerable populations – those who are depressed, receive low-income benefits, are disabled, or are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid – have experienced more Healthy Days in 2020 compared to 2019

• We have seen positive trends in many of our communities, including a healthy Days Growth overall of 1.8% in Louisville, Ky., And 3.4% in New Orleans from 2019 to 2020. saw an increase of 2.8% in Healthy Days in the Bold Objective communities compared to the Bold Objective communities since our base year of 2015.

Humana’s Bold goal, set in 2015, began with a population health strategy goal of improving health for people, expressed by the self-reported health of members as defined by the CDC-validated survey. Healthy Days. Research, insights, and partnerships have shed light on the fact that the social determinants of health and social needs related to health have a profound impact on a person’s health and well-being outcomes.

Fortunately, through five years of Bold Goal community engagement, we have established relationships with many community-based organizations. Our initial focus on SDOH was on food insecurity and loneliness, so we had a basic response framework, interventions in the field, and key partnerships established when the pandemic hit. This allowed us to respond quickly to emerging needs as the situation grew.

We know that our clinical and social interventions have had an impact. Not only did we specifically target at-risk populations, we had screening tools in place to eradicate the needs. During the pandemic, we put these efforts more widely into all of Humana’s clinical service arms and clients, as well as with our community partners. What started out as an experiment has become our way of doing business.

Our 2020 goal was to complete 3 million social needs screening events related to health, and by the end of the year we had more than doubled our goal with 6.2 million completed screening events. Those positive screenings were connected to resources that directly addressed their basic needs.

Humana’s Medicare Advantage membership includes seniors, who are already among the most vulnerable to food insecurity and are some of the most susceptible to experiencing loneliness due to social distancing. During the pandemic, they had particularly restricted access to transportation and food.

Humana’s basic needs program, which was launched in 2020 to respond to urgent and emerging social needs in terms of health due to the pandemic, enables members facing the needs to examine and support insecure food members. By the end of the year, the basic necessities program had served 77,863 members and provided more than 1.1 million meals to members. It will continue in 2021 and, to date, has served 90,000 people with 1.5 million meals.

Like our peers in the healthcare industry, we have learned a lot over the last year. These results represent only the beginning of what is possible that we, through continuous collaboration with partners, address the root causes of health disparities. We will continue to dig deeper into our disciplines – clinical, behavioral and social – to support members in their better health.

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