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New Grassroots Community Creates Action to Jumpstart Improvement in the U.S. Health Care System

ChangeNow4Health to Serve As Forum to Identify Challenges and Incubate Solutions

Category:

Monday, November 19, 2007 10:00 am EST

Dateline:

NEW YORK

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To help create, share and incubate realistic solutions that address necessary changes to the nations health care system, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) has formed ChangeNow4Health, a broad, open, online community committed to improving health care through immediate action. Humana partnered with Availity, Business Health Care Group and nationally recognized health care consultant Dr. Jacque Sokolov to create this unique approach to change, where anyone interested in improving our nations health care system is not only welcome to share insights and ideas, but can also work towards transforming discussion into positive action.

The announcement was made at a news conference in New York City today.

Our health care system is badly broken, but there are disconnected pockets of progress around the country, said Michael B. McCallister, president and chief executive officer of Humana. Yet because health care is such a fragmented industry, the people and organizations behind these initiatives have a hard time communicating and coming together. ChangeNow4Health is designed to be a channel that action-oriented individuals can use to step forward, exchange ideas with one another and solve problems now. Its an online, real-time catalyst and clearinghouse for change.

One of the key features of ChangeNow4Health is its online communities. The communities will serve as forums to share best practices and as virtual workplaces to incubate and implement solutions. There are currently three communities, each of which is moderated by a prominent health care blogger:

  • Helping Consumers Make Smarter Health Care Decisions: Members of this community are working to find ways to ensure that consumers have the tools, information and desire to take responsibility for their own health. The group seeks to identify roadblocks on the way to responsible consumerism and create break through solutions.
  • Simplifying the Business of Health Care: This community looks at how administrative and financial functions can be streamlined so that the health care system works more cost-effectively.
  • Preventing Sickness and Maintaining Health: The goal of this community is to incubate solutions that help consumers understand the connection between better health and lower health care costs. Members will work on ways to change individual behaviors and clinical practices so the health care system can shift its focus from treatment to prevention.

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, total spending on health care in the United States now totals $2.2 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office notes that health care spending currently accounts for 16 percent of the gross domestic product, but is projected to reach 20 percent by 2016. At the current growth rate, these figures will continue to be one of greatest pressures facing businesses and consumers in America.

For many people, whether theyre individuals, employers, physician groups or even health care companies, the U.S. health care system is like their old car it still runs fine, but as the years go on, it costs them more money and more things seem to break, said Dianne Kiehl, executive director of the Business Health Care Group, a Milwaukee-based employer coalition dedicated to reducing costs and improving outcomes through transparent price and quality information for consumers. The worst part is that even though theyd love to fix it, they dont know where to start. ChangeNow4Health offers the opportunity to learn how others have fixed their problems and use that information to fix their own issues.

Collaboration is key in any change process, and, to date, there has been limited collaboration between stakeholders in health care, said Julie Klapstein, chief executive officer of Availity, a Jacksonville, Florida-based electronic information exchange for all health care stakeholders. The technology and structure of the online communities within ChangeNow4Health allows for the necessary collaboration, but in an environment that also encourages focused thinking and the development of easily implementable solutions. With ChangeNow4Health, were all one step closer to fixing the system together.

Traditionally, when consumers had an opinion, they often didnt have a forum to express it or a voice to make it heard, explained McCallister. ChangeNow4Health provides that forum and voice. Anyone, regardless of age, race, sex, employer, political beliefs or any other factor can join this initiative and help us improve the health care system today.

For more information or to take action now, visit www.changenow4health.com.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11.3 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services through traditional and consumer-choice plans to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 46-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual reports to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentations;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls;
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance Information

Contact:

Humana Inc.
Dick Brown, 502-314-4164
dbrown4@humana.com