- Hi, I am Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. It's my honor and privilege to be talking with Bruce Broussard, the President and CEO of Humana, a major health care insurance company with over 20 million members. CTA is a nonprofit association. We're very much involved in home health care, telehealth, as well as health care, digital health care products. We focus on them at CES and also as an association. We have published various studies, including one with The Economist on analyzing value-based health care in last June. And we've published guidelines addressing the use of virtual care tools, as well as we've developed privacy guidelines, for health data. And we launched a public health tech initiative to explore and create recommendations for the use of technology in dealing with and recovering from future public health emergencies. So, with me is a leader in the health care industry. It was some 10 years ago that he joined Humana, and he then spoke about his focus on technology. Humana was the first health care insurance organization to join the Consumer Technology Association and help lead our efforts. Bruce, welcome to CES.

- Well, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

- Thank you. Wo the pandemic, it's definitely shifted digital health solutions, to the forefront of health care delivery. How are you managing this digital shift to benefit consumers?

- Yep, well first I just have to reinforce just the change that it's brought. I think the use, the force used, to be honest with you, of digital technology as we were into the social distancing, has a really brought alive the benefits of digital technology. Traditionally, as you well know, the industry has sort of been inward focused, as opposed to convenience around multiple different channel uses, personalization and being more simple in the area. And what we see is this merging of the ability to take the health condition, lifestyle needs and the ability for major meeting preferences. Let me give you an example. We had just recently an individual that was a diabetic. Didn't have access to their prescriptions, was depressed as a result of losing his wife and some relatives, two relatives, and our ability through the better information that's resulted from people who are using mobile more, the ability for us to then utilize the analytics to be able to identify both their health conditions, but in addition their lifestyle needs and their way to engage. And what we found is we're much more effective in that way. And people talk about telehealth. I know we'll talk about that in a minute. I find the biggest, greatest opportunity is to really expand the channels that we're offering for people to get their care, to do it in a much more precise fashion of their needs and to be able to simplify it.

- Well, in July you partnered with Heal, a telehealth home care startup to expand health care, and in fact that's something you invested $100 million in Heal, which focuses on telehealth-powered primary care home visits and that certainly expands your U.S. footprint, but how has that investment or partnership, changed your product and service offerings, and do you expect to see similar mergers like others, like this in health care?

- A few things, first we're just big believers in home. A few years ago, we announced a large investment ultimately turn into be a wholly owned subsidiary of ours, of Kindred Health, which is the largest home health company in the country. What we see is home really evolving from the traditional treatment of therapy and dealing with activities of daily living to a much more health care-oriented service center. What I mean by that is being able to bring a doctor into the home. Telehealth or be able to visit the home. To be able to have the nurse come into the home, but in much more of a acute setting, as opposed to just treating some activities of daily living. We do believe to make this most effective is the ability to continue to evolve our payment model to be more value-based for health outcomes, both on the expense side and the health side, and that we believe will allow people to be much more indifferent and where the payment model, is paying for to much more what is convenient for the customer and the best health outcome there. So we completely believe that this going to be the evolution of health care and move it from a more institutional. On the merger and acquisition side, we see that we're in this great stage of these organizations being able to come out from a sort of a test and learn an innovative area to now being able to scale. I think COVID has brought the opportunity for a number of these smaller organizations, Heal being an example of that, to be able to bring the opportunity for them to scale with organizations like ours. I think the next stage will probably be where larger organizations will then begin acquiring those. But right now I think we're in the scaling stage of a number of these organizations.

- Hmm, would you say that COVID, is actually the silver lining to that very dark cloud, is that it has accelerated the digitization and use of technology in the health care world?

- Very much so. I think, it has been there, similar to a lot of other technologies. This conversation is probably a good example of where things have been accelerated. I find that it really forced providers and forced organizations like Humana and in addition patients to use the technology, because it was really the only accessibility we had, during those as you call it dark months. But I do believe because of the convenience now and because of its proven success, that it is here to stay and be used in a much more active fashion, but integrated with physical interactions and integrated with other parts in the health care system.

- Hmm, Humana often talks about a human care approach. How is the technology advancing that?

- Well, I will tell you, it has been just a wonderful opportunity for us, to really get to those three levels, that we find as being really critical, around this ability to offer convenience, simplify it and personalize it. With that, we're getting better information, from people using mobile more, so we're getting... it's becoming more digitized. So the response is getting much greater. Our ability to reach out and have access to the individuals, has becoming much more effective, and then in addition to be much more precise, because of the analytics as a result of the better data, to be able to personalize it. So that's been a... I think this is a pivot point for health care. We as organizations in the industry, need to take advantage of it.

- So Humana is investing in in-home preventive care screening kits. Will this shift to in-home care screening, last beyond the pandemic, and what other lasting changes do you anticipate?

- Yeah, we began back on the home. I just feel the convenience of the home is great. We do believe the kits that we've used, which some are over a million of them and we've found some wonderful results from that really preventative areas. We had someone send us an email just recently, thanking us for the sending out some colon tests, that they were diagnosed that it was positive, but we got to it quicker. And if you think about that we're really replacing... not replacing but being earlier in on the colonoscopy, it's just much more convenient. We feel that these tests will continue to evolve. I think they will continue to evolve to be more digital, and being able to utilize the digital aspects, of what the the smaller chips, and other areas and remote monitoring, that will allow us to to make it much more effective and much more responsive. We see it today in COVID. We really partnered with a firm to bring home COVID testing and it is much more convenient and much more quicker, that someone can keep a stack in their home and tested periodically, has really allowed us to be much more responsive, to the individual's needs with significant more convenience.

- So what else do we have to do, to move forward to the next phase of digital health care, what policies investments do we need raise the hurdles and opportunities?

- Yeah, I would say a few things here. I think first, like any pivot in any industry, it needs to mature. I think broadband access. One of the things that we've seen, is especially in the senior population, the technology access has been somewhat difficult, but we have shipped iPads to the individual's homes to be able to participate on telehealth. Their WiFi is not as great as it could be. So I think broadband access and dependability, whether it's to individuals that are less apt to technology, or more geographic regions that are dispersed. The second thing is interoperability. I find interoperability and the flow of information and the velocity of information within health care is an important part. The administration, and the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration, have all made great strides in this, but the industry needs to embrace it. We are a big leader in that and believe that that is a changing force, because it brings convenience, quicker information, the ability to analyze quicker, and in addition it allows a much more thoughtful view across the organization, I mean the industry that is traditionally very fragmented. And then the third is confidence in people's use of the information. We need to be... Today in, whether it's social media and other areas, there is this continued fear of how people use the information and the security of that and continuing to push that both legislatively but also technology wise. And then the last thing is health payments. We continue to believe the more we pay, and outcomes the cost, and the health outcome side, the better we are and the more effective we are. And so when we think about the critical policies, access, investment infrastructure, interoperability, security and use of data, and then in addition payment.

- Absolutely, those are all great points, and we are clearly moving as a society, to value-based health care. We're trying to shift from invasive to non-invasive. To outpatient, to home from general to personalized. There's things out there like focused ultrasound and other technology and opportunities. And we appreciate what you're doing. We appreciate you taking the time and we appreciate your investment in technology and your offerings and your belief and passion. Thank you so much. And just an aside, you mentioned broadband. The president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, will be talking about broadband at CES this week. Great, thanks for joining us, Bruce. We look forward to seeing live in-person.

- Well, that's fun, I'm looking forward to it too.


 

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